This article re-examines the theories of recognition and non-recognition in the context of the evolving framework of the European Union (EU)’s trade and investment relations with Taiwan from legal and international relations perspectives. Notwithstanding its one-China policy, the EU has developed a pragmatic approach to engaging Taiwan under bilateral consultations and World Trade Organization negotiations that have built the foundation for the bilateral investment agreement (BIA). The article argues that since the 1980s, the EU has accorded diverse forms of recognition to Taiwan and the BIA will buttress the process. To substantiate the contention, the article systemically explores the political and trade policies of European states and EU institutions in line with their strategies toward cross-strait relations.
By deciphering the new momentum that has galvanized the European Commission’s strategy towards the EU-Taiwan BIA, the research sheds light on the implications of European Parliament resolutions and the EU’s investment talks with China. The structure and impact of the BIA are also analysed in light of EU investment protection agreements with Singapore and Vietnam. Hence, the findings contribute to the interdisciplinary study of international law and international relations and enhance the understanding of the EU’s Asia-Pacific trade and investment agreements.