The European Union’s (EU’s) Taiwan policies have been dominated by trade and economic concerns due to the absence of a security profile and China’s insistence on Taiwan belonging to China. This neglect of a political role of the EU in East Asia is often regarded as a central strategic weakness of the EU. With a new government in office in Taiwan since 2016, Cross-Strait relations have worsened; this challenges EU’s ambitions to become a strategic actor in the region.
Apart from security and economy, other political aspects of bilateral relations have remained almost unnoticed in the literature. This article addresses EU’s Taiwan policies from a different perspective. Instead of a hierarchic foreign policy exploration with security issues predominating, here, a multidimensional mosaic of EU’s Taiwan relations is analysed breadthways. From this standpoint, one can see that EU’s profile in Taiwan has increased considerably in recent years. These broadened bilateral relations may also support the EU’s wider political and strategic interests in the region altogether. The EU could help Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy align with EU’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations strategy, and thus support a rule-based strategy in the Far East.European Foreign Affairs Review