After Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August 2022 and media reporting on the “Pelosi effect”, describing the piling amount of delegations from various countries, CHOICE tracked the visits from the EU and EU countries to explore whether this 2022 trend differs from previous years.
The visualization below shows that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (2016-2018), the visits from the European countries were more frequent than the number of visits realized so far in 2022. Importantly, the large proportion of the 2022 visits (4 out of 12) were delegations from Lithuania whose relations with Taiwan have considerably intensified since Lithuania announced the opening of the Taiwan Representative Office in Lithuania, sparking disagreement in China followed by downgrading of mutual diplomatic relations and economic coercion. Lithuania is also opening a new trade office in Taipei.
In total, the EU sent 16 and the EU member states 86 delegations to Taiwan during the analyzed period. French political representatives traveled to Taiwan most often, followed by officials from Germany and the United Kingdom. In May 2016, many EU countries sent delegations to the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen, which, for some countries constituted one of the few delegations sent to Taiwan during the analyzed period or, as in the case of Austria, the only visit, as Vienna did not send another parliamentary or governmental delegation to Taiwan during the period considered.
Due to the COVID-19 traveling restrictions, the number of visits steeply declined in 2020 with only one delegation from the Czech Republic led by the President of the Senate Miloš Vystrčil visiting Taiwan. In 2022, the number of visits (and also the number of visits scheduled for the rest of 2022) suggests that the frequency of delegations to Taiwan may start to return to its pre-pandemic level.
This interactive visualization allows to filter the information according to your needs. Filter the data based on the country by clicking on the country on the map or browse through the EU data using the flag icon. See the data for a specific year by clicking on the year in the graph. In case you have any suggestions or spot any incorrect data, reach out to email@example.com
Filip Šebok is a China Research Fellow and Project Manager at the Association for International Affairs (AMO) in Prague, Czech Republic. His research interests include Chinese domestic and foreign policy, relations between China and the Central and Eastern European countries and China’s foreign policy rhetoric.