BERLIN, Germany: During a visit to Europe last week, Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said European countries should strengthen their relations with Taipei if they want continued Taiwanese investment in semiconductor production in their countries.
Investments in other countries by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, require government approval, including for a potential factory in Germany, he added.
The government in Taipei was not placing conditions on investments by TSMC, which was responsible for deciding if a project would make a profit, Wu added.
“Taiwan would not block investment in Europe, but there was a philosophical issue that a country wanting Taiwanese help needed to consider a broader picture of relations with Taiwan. I think that is something for us to think about,” Wu added.
China claims the democratically-governed island as its own territory and has threatened the use of force to bring it under its control.
In response, Taipei strongly objects to Beijing’s claims to sovereignty and says only the island’s people can decide on their future.
“If they can think along that positive line, the relations between Taiwan and European countries, major European countries, are going to be so much better than before,” Wu noted.
China has warned Europe against forming ties with Taiwan ahead of Wu’s visit.
Except for the Vatican, Taiwan has no diplomatic ties with any European country.
Meanwhile, EU leaders have been more definite than in the past in calling for peace in the Taiwan Strait and preservation of the status quo, Wu said, stressing that the bloc should consider more cooperation with Taiwan, such as a bilateral investment agreement.