Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson warned against escalating tensions in the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, saying they affect not only Taiwan but also Europe. 

In a speech at the Stockholm China Forum, Kristersson said, “any crisis as a result of an attempt to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait using force would have very far-reaching consequences.”

In the face of China’s military modernization, the Prime Minister highlighted the need for the European Union to “safeguard the rules-based international order, and not only in Europe.”

While affirming the EU’s one China policy “remains unchanged,” Kristersson praised Taiwan’s democracy and economic development, expressing Sweden’s eagerness to strengthen relations with Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs today welcomed Kristersson’s comments and acknowledged Sweden’s increased attention to security issues in the Taiwan Strait in recent years. In October, the prime minister voiced concerns about China’s military threats to Taiwan in his inaugural address to the parliament, the ministry said.

“China’s latest rhetoric towards Taiwan is worrying,” Kristersson said. “Threats of military force are unacceptable. This applies to all countries, and most particularly to permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.”

Last week, two Swedish lawmakers, Joar Forssell of the Liberals and Markus Wiechel of the Sweden Democrats, called on their government and the EU to provide military assistance to Taiwan. Forssell also urged Sweden to come to Taiwan’s aid in the event of a Chinese attack.

Wiechel, who led a delegation to visit Taiwan in May, echoed Forssell’s view, saying that “Taiwan should be supported in various ways just as we [Sweden] have supported Ukraine.” The Sweden Democrats, however, said the lawmaker’s position on EU military assistance to Taiwan does not represent the official stance of the party.

In a six-day visit, the parliamentary delegation met with officials, including President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, to promote exchanges between the two countries.

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TNL Editor: Bryan Chou (@thenewslensintl)

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