EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called on European navies to patrol the disputed Taiwan Strait, in a opinion piece in a French weekly published Sunday.
Borrell’s comments in the Journal Du Dimanche, echo comments he made last week when he stressed how crucial Taiwan is to Europe.
Taiwan “concerns us economically, commercially and technologically,” Borrell said.
“That’s why I call on European navies to patrol the Taiwan Strait to show Europe’s commitment to freedom of navigation in this absolutely crucial area.”
Two weeks ago, China launched three days of military exercises around Taiwan — simulating targeted strikes and a blockade of the island — in response to a meeting between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
On Tuesday, in a speech opening a debate on China at the European Parliament, he said: “Taiwan is clearly part of our geostrategic perimeter to guarantee peace.
“It is not only for a moral reason that an action against Taiwan must necessarily be rejected. It is also because it would be, in economic terms, extremely serious for us, because Taiwan has a strategic role in the production of the most advanced semiconductors,” he said.
Borrell’s comments come after French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this month argued that Europe should not be a “follower” of the United States in the event of conflict with China over Taiwan.
Macron’s comments, coming after a visit to China, sparked criticism from some politicians in both the United States and inside the European Union.
China claims Taiwan as its territory and has vowed to bring the island under its control one day.