French MPs are on a five-day visit to Taiwan amid China tensions

French MPs are on a five-day visit to Taiwan amid China tensions

After a group of French parliamentarians visited Taiwan in October, six French lawmakers are now in the country on a five-day trip.

Francois de Rugy, the head of the Taiwan Friendship group in the National Assembly, the lower house of France’s Parliament, is at the helm of the visiting delegation. They will meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and other senior government officials.

Upon arrival at the airport, de Rugby told reports that the lawmakers wish to have exchanges on all dimensions of the relation between Taiwan, the EU and France on the economy and culture and all the issues at stake for their countries.

Earlier in October, another group of French lawmakers led by Sen. Alain Richard held meetings with Tsai, Taiwanese economic and health officials, and the Mainland Affairs Council. That visit was part of regular parliamentary exchanges that had been going on for years.

China, which claims Taiwan as part of its national territory, had tried to get the October meetings scrapped. Its embassy in France had said that it would not only damage China’s core interests and undermine Chinese-French relations, but would also impact France’s own reputation and interests.