Taipei [Taiwan] September 17 (ANI): Taiwan on Friday called on the European Union (EU) for trade talks after the bloc wanted to bolster its trade relationship with the Indo-Pacific region, local media reported.
"Taiwan called for pre-negotiation work to start on a possible Bilateral Investment Agreement (BIA) after the EU announced the previous day it wanted to bolster its trade relationship and step up strategic engagement in the Indo-Pacific region," Taiwan News reported.
This comes after European Commission adopted the EU Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
In the European Commission's newly released report about its strategy in the Indo-Pacific, it described Taiwan as an important partner to establish semiconductor supply chains, and to have a dialogue on data protection, Taiwan News reported.
The bloc also pledged to deepen its trade and investment ties with the country, as the two sides haven't signed BIAs or enjoyed official diplomatic relations.
Titled, "The EU strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific," the paper also warns of China's military build-up, displays of force and increasing tension in South China and East China Seas and the Taiwan Strait. This was having what the EU described as "a direct impact on European security and prosperity."
Meanwhile, in response, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said preparations should begin on a possible BIA. Taiwan has been listed as a potential entity to sign a BIA since 2015 and finally received backing from the European Parliament in July.
"As a like-minded partner of the EU with core values such as democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law, Taiwan will continue to bolster cooperation in the supply chain reorganization for semiconductors and other related strategic industries, as well as digital economy, green energy, and post-epidemic economic recovery," Taiwan News quoted MOFA statement.
Earlier this month, China had expressed opposition to an "EU-Taiwan Political Relations and Cooperation" report, calling for stronger ties between the two, saying that it violates the country's "One-China principle".
The Taiwan Strait is a 180-kilometre-wide strait separating the island of Taiwan and continental Asia. The strait is in international waters, however, China claims Taiwan as its own territory. (ANI)