French senators visiting Taiwan to boost ties

French senators are visiting Taiwan to meet President Tsai Ing-wen -- yet another move by a European nation to boost ties with Taiwan.

The four-member delegation led by former French Defense Minister Alain Richard arrived at Taoyuan International Airport on Wednesday.

The senators will meet Tsai on Thursday and hold talks with Taiwan's premier as well as cabinet ministers in charge of diplomatic and economic affairs before leaving Taiwan on Sunday.

Some European nations have recently sought to bolster relations with Taiwan. The head of the Czech Senate visited Taiwan last year. Four nations, including Lithuania and Poland, have donated coronavirus vaccines to Taiwan this year.

In addition, the European Union released its first-ever strategy for the Indo-Pacific region in September, declaring that it will seek to deepen economic ties with Taiwan.

China has reacted sharply to these European moves.

China's ambassador to France had strongly demanded cancellation of the visit to Taiwan by the French delegation. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson told reporters last Thursday that France should abide by the One China principle.

Taiwan's foreign ministry welcomes the delegation, saying they are visiting Taiwan in spite of threats by China.