A delegation of French parliamentarians arrived Wednesday in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, the first such visit by representatives of a major European country since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial trip to the Asian country last month.
The cross-party delegation, led by Senator Cyril Pellevat, vice chairman of the French Upper House European Affairs Committee, has arrived for a six-day official visit to the island at the invitation of the Taiwanese government. It is the fourth group of French lawmakers to arrive in Taiwan in the past 12 months.
“The arrival fully demonstrates the good friendship between Taiwan and France,” Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou has told DPA.
The delegation is scheduled to meet with Vice President Lai Ching Te, Legislative Speaker You Si Kun, as well as other senior officials to discuss issues such as regional security, technological innovation and strengthening industrial supply chains.
In response to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in early August, China initiated large-scale military maneuvers around Taiwan, followed by a new round of military exercises.
On Tuesday, Taiwan President Tsai Ing Wen said the situation remained tense and that Chinese threats persisted, including Chinese military aircraft incursion, disinformation campaigns, drones and other gray zone tactics.
Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the democratic island part of its territory and opposes any form of official contact between Taiwan and other countries.