Trade and Flags, the EU’s Relations with North East Asia
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The EU’s relations with North East Asia are essentially mercantilist, driven overwhelmingly by commercial policy. While China is currently all important to these relations, recent history suggests a willingness on the part of EU states to engage with Taiwan if they see real benefit from doing so. Concern or caution about possible Chinese reactions to engaging with Taiwan, especially in matters relating to trade, is therefore often overstated or even unfounded. Provided Chinese ‘red lines’ are avoided, there should not be any restriction on developing a closer relationship with Taiwan. This suggests that the lack of engagement is at least in part due to the absence of better business opportunities.