European powers must redouble their efforts to dissuade Beijing from invading Taiwan, a former NATO chief said Thursday, arguing that these states were "too naive" before Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and risk to repeat the same mistake with Beijing.
“We must realize that the conflict between China and Taiwan has, and will have, global repercussions. We therefore have an interest [...] in preventing these tensions from degenerating into an armed conflict, ”said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, ex-Secretary General of NATO on a visit to the island, to the press.
For Mr. Rasmussen, European countries must in particular be prepared to take "broad and deep sanctions" against Beijing in the event of an invasion of Taiwan, even if these would hit Europe hard in return, he conceded. .
According to him, the invasion of Ukraine, however, started a change in Europe with regard to the dependence on autocracies.
“We have built a Europe based on security provided by the United States, cheap goods from China and cheap gas from Russia. This model no longer works,” he said.
"We must not repeat this mistake by being too weak, too accommodating to China."
Mr. Rasmussen also maintained that the Europeans could "conduct training [...] on European soil" for Taiwanese soldiers, like those provided in Europe to Ukrainian soldiers in the years preceding the invasion. of Ukraine by Moscow in 2022.
And to add that military and cyber defense equipment could be shared with Taipei "to allow Taiwan to defend itself".
Asked about Mr. Rasmussen's visit to Taiwan, a spokesman for Chinese diplomacy said Wednesday that "any attempt to create 'two Chinas' or 'one China, one Taiwan' is doomed to failure."
Relations between Beijing and Taipei, already tense, deteriorated sharply in 2022, Beijing having multiplied military maneuvers around the island which it considers part of its territory to be reconquered one day, by force if necessary.
The most significant were carried out in retaliation for a visit to the island by Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. China opposes any official exchange between countries and Taiwan.