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China-Taiwan Relations and the EU: How European Soft Power Could Help Reduce Cross-Strait Tensions

By Instituto Affari Internazionali

Russia’s war against Ukraine has brought back to the spotlight the question of China’s (officially the People’s Republic of China, PRC) potential attack on Taiwan (officially the Republic of China, ROC). Beijing claims that the island is one of its provinces, whereas the current Taiwanese government maintains that it is already an independent country. A conflict over Taiwan – or even a Chinese blockade of the island – would have immediate economic and political implications for Europe which will likely impose sanctions on the PRC, the EU’s second-largest trading partner. The EU is not a security actor in East Asia, but has some formidable – and unique – soft power assets that could be leveraged to promote dialogue and understanding between China and Taiwan, with the objective of reducing tensions in the area and maintaining the status quo.

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Author: Nicola Casarini, Associate Fellow, Istituto Affari Internazionali.

This article is available on the Istituto Affari Internazionali webiste.

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