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International relations

EU split on Taiwan question as it fears fraying China ties

27-nation bloc must determine whether China is more of a partner or rival

Whether the European Union will begin making preparations for a bilateral investment agreement with Taiwan appears to depend on how the EU Commission assesses the bloc's relationship with China. (Nikkei montage/AP/Reuters)

TAIPEI -- A China backlash appears to be taking shape in the European Union, where this month the foreign affairs committee of parliament issued a report calling on the 27-nation bloc to begin preparing a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) with Taiwan.

The move came after the recent European Parliament session passed an amendment that calls for changing a trade office's name on the island to the European Union Office in Taiwan, a step that indicates the EU feels the need to "move away from [its] solely economic" relationship with Taiwan, according to the BIA report's rapporteur.

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