Was the European Union intelligence chief forced to cancel his trip to Taiwan under pressure from China? According to a report, the intelligence chief’s top-secret preparations for the trip to Beijing have been leaked, raising questions about human or data leaks from the EU.
A report in Politico, quoting two diplomats, says José Casimiro Morgado, director of the European Union’s Intelligence and Situation Center, was to make the “underlight visit” to Taiwan to meet officials. However, China got wind of the top-secret preparations and forced the EU to cancel the trip.
According to the report, this development has raised questions about human or data leaks from the EU, with diplomats raising concerns about the EU’s decision to cancel the visit after giving in to Chinese pressure. This comes at a time when Taipei is being emboldened by Western action against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and is heavily lobbying for sanctions against Beijing.
Exchanges between the EU and Taiwan have increased in recent months, angering China. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu visited Brussels last October as part of his European tour. During his trip, Foreign Minister Wu met with members of the European Parliament to express gratitude for the deepening of Taiwan-EU ties and called on “freedom-loving countries” to join forces against China.
In response to the news, an EU official denied that Morgado was planning a trip to Taiwan and said he was only to hold telephone meetings with Taiwanese officials. However, he canceled the call because of the Chinese reaction to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei last month, the Politico report said.
The EU spokesman declined to say whether there was an investigation into possible external leaks into Morgado’s travel plans, Politico added.
The European Union has so far shied away from slapping tough sanctions on Beijing for its human rights abuses, given China’s large role in the bloc’s economy. Any decision on European sanctions requires the approval of all member countries.
Meanwhile, the US Senate committee on Wednesday passed legislation to significantly increase US military support for defending the self-governing democratic island against Chinese aggression. Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim, has also hosted dozens of international lawmakers in support of calls for sanctions against China over aggression against the island.
With reports that the US is considering options for a sanctions package against China to stop it from invading Taiwan, Taipei is also building diplomatic pressure on the EU to take similar action against Beijing. Taiwan is lobbying European envoys, asking them to plan what action they might take if China attacks Taiwan.
Although delegations from the US, Europe and several countries have been visiting Taiwan regularly for several years, Beijing, which considers the island one of its provinces, has only recently taken an aggressive stance, threatening military strikes and sanctions.
Tensions across the Taiwan Strait reached their highest level in years last month after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei. Beijing condemned the visit and responded furiously by holding days of air and sea drills across Taiwan.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/did-china-force-eu-intelligence-chief-cancel-top-secret-taiwan-trip-1838384?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution Has China forced the EU intelligence chief to cancel the top-secret trip to Taiwan?