Thirteen members of the EU committee on foreign interference will discuss threats such as disinformation and cyber attacks during the three-day visit.

Taiwan is is keen to deepen relations with members of the European Union.
Taiwan is is keen to deepen relations with members of the European Union. (Executive Yuan via AP)

A European Parliament delegation has arrived in Taiwan, part of an effort to build closer ties with the island state despite warnings from China.

"Our visit shows how Taiwan now is very high in the agenda in Brussels and in every member state," Raphael Glucksmann, a French member of the European Parliament, told Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang at a meeting.

"We in Europe are also confronted with interference from authoritarian regimes and we came here to learn from you," added Glucksmann, who is leading the delegation.

He described Taiwan as "a laboratory and a hub for the fight against foreign interference and the preservation of democracy".

In a statement, Taiwan's foreign ministry pointed to the "great significance" of the first official delegation from the European Parliament.

During the three-day visit, organised by a committee of the European Parliament on foreign interference in democratic processes, the ministry said the delegation would discuss threats such as disinformation and cyber attacks.

In a statement, the office of Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen said the government would share its experiences in tackling challenges such as "foreign infiltration".

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'A threat to China-EU relations'

President Tsai, set to meet the delegates on Thursday, has warned of increasing Chinese efforts to gain influence in Taiwan, asking security agencies to counter infiltration efforts.

The EU lawmakers' visit comes after Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu made a rare trip to Europe last month that angered Beijing, which warned the host countries against undermining relations with China.

Last month, the European Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution to deepen ties with Taiwan, with steps such as looking into an investment agreement.

Prior visits by foreign lawmakers have provoked China's anger.

The Chinese mission in Brussels had warned earlier that a Taiwan visit by MEPs would "damage China's core interest and undermine the healthy development of China-EU relations".

Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory and has not ruled out taking by force, does not have formal diplomatic ties with any European nations except tiny Vatican City. But it is keen to deepen relations with members of the European Union.

READ MORE: Reunification with Taiwan 'must be and will be realised': China's Xi

Source: TRTWorld and agencies