Home » Unpacking Taiwan’s Foreign Minister’s unannounced trip to Italy

Unpacking Taiwan’s Foreign Minister’s unannounced trip to Italy

Joseph Wu was in Milan on Saturday. His visit is being viewed as a diplomatic breakthrough. Paolo Formentini, Vice President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, described the meeting as very positive

Taiwanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu made an unannounced visit to Italy on Saturday. He met with Paolo Formentini, Vice President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, and MP Igor Iezzi in Milan.

  • The meeting “was an opportunity to reaffirm that the status quo in the Taiwan Strait must remain as it is and that the freedom of navigation must always be defended, as reiterated by the ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ doctrine,” Formentini said to our sister website.
  • The Free and Open Indo-Pacific was introduced in 2016 by the then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and implemented as an international strategic doctrine against any regional actor’s coercions and expansionist ambitions, particularly those of China.
  • In April, the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the establishment of the “Taipei Representative Office in Italy – Milan Office”.

It was a very positive meeting, Formentini added. Wu appreciated Italy’s initiatives in the Indo-Pacific, such as the military diplomacy mission of the ship Morosini (which will be in Japan in the coming days as part of various stops in the region).

  • Formentini mentioned the initiatives promoted in the Foreign Affairs Committee, including creating “a committee for the Indo-Pacific, which will also contribute to formulating the Italian vision of the Indo-Pacific, which our country has lacked for too long.” It is “important that Italy is in that area of the world where not only the future of trade but also the future of democracies is at stake.”
  • Europe cannot ignore Taiwan’s desire for “better relations” if EU countries such as Germany are keen to acquire advanced microchip-making technologies from the island, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told POLITICO.
  • Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party MP Wang Ting-yu, who also chairs the Taiwan-Italy Inter-Parliamentary Amity Association, said that in the past, Italy had maintained friendly relations with China, Liberty Times reported. Thus, Wu’s visit is a significant diplomatic breakthrough for Taiwan, he added.

This week, Formentini will also receive a reply from the government to a parliamentary question regarding Taiwan’s participation in the work of the World Health Organization.

  • Taipei has long been requesting formal inclusion in WHO activities, where it could contribute its expertise. At the same time, China has always worked to exclude it, as with other international multilateral organizations.

The Vice President of the Italian Senate, Gian Marco Centinaio, is in Taipei with his colleague Senator Elena Murelli. They have had several high-level meetings, including one with President Tsai Ing-wen.

  • The Italian delegation was received at an institutional level and attended several high-level meetings, including with President Tsai Ing-wen.

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