In a move likely to anger Beijing Young Fine Gael has called on the Irish Government to build its relationship with Taiwan by formally establishing a representative office in Taiwan, saying that “Ireland must be stronger in our support to fellow liberal democracies like Taiwan in the face of rising authoritarianism.”

The move came after a meeting between YFG’s International Committee and Pierre Tzu-pao Yang, Taiwan’s top representative in Ireland. It’s understood the meeting covered foreign policy, Ireland’s relationship with Taiwan, and responses to COVID-19. During the meeting Representative Yang said that the lack of an Irish representative office in Taiwan was disappointing, and that he hope to see the Irish Government one day open such an office in Taipei.

YFG say that they hope that Ireland and Taiwan can foster closer social, cultural and economic ties, and that the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) should seek to create links with Taiwanese companies in order to increase trade and economic opportunities between our two countries.

There are currently no diplomatic links between Ireland and Taiwan due to pressure from the Chinese Government. Under the “one China” policy the Chinese Government insists that Taiwan be treated as a rogue province of China rather than as a sovereign state. Seán Ó Fearghaí, Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil, has previously written to Irish TDs warning them not to take part in bridge building exercises with Taiwan, as it was “a danger to Ireland’s national interest”, and that engaging with Taiwanese officials could cause “serious offence and grave concern to our Chinese friends.”

The meeting also discussed the recent heightened tensions between Taiwan and China, and the major security challenges posed to the people of Taiwan and their Government. The Committee stated its firm position that China’s increasingly aggressive policies and rhetoric towards Taiwan is a serious concern for the international community.