Italy exclusively recognizes the People’s Republic of China, in its integrity and territorial sovereignty, as the only state entity in China.
Consequently, Italy does not entertain formal diplomatic relations with the Republic of China, but develops economic-commercial and cultural relations with Taiwan that are facilitated and promoted by the presence of a Taipei Representative Office in Rome and of an Italian Economic, Trade and Cultural Promotion Office in Taipei (est. 1994).
Italian-Taiwanese relations develop also at parliamentary level through the activity of a friendship group currently presided by Senator Lucio Malan (Forza Italia).
Italian-Taiwanese relations also make use of the contribution at the parliamentary level through the activities of friendship groups and the carrying out of study visits.
For the Italian side, the current president of the parliamentary friendship group is Senator Lucio Malan (Forza Italia); for the Taiwanese side it is the Hon. Wang Ding-yu who is chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Legislative Council.
Italian-Taiwanese Forum for Economic, Industrial and Financial Cooperation
The main instrument of dialogue and cooperation is the Italo-Taiwanese Forum for Economic, Industrial and Financial Cooperation which presides over the strengthening of exchanges and collaboration between Italian and Taiwanese productive sectors.
Established in 2010, it is co-chaired by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs. The 10th session of the Forum took place in Taipei on December 15, 2022.
Italian presence in Taiwan. Historical background.
At the end of the Chinese civil war (1949) unofficial relations between Italy and Taiwan were maintained by Italian personalities that had been close to the Republic of China such as Alberto De Stefani,a former Minister of Finance.In the 1950s, press correspondences by Luigi Barzini jr. and Ettore Della Giovanna aroused interest in Italian parliamentary circles. A first parliamentary delegation visited Taiwan in October 1956. Elettra Marconi, the daughter of the famous Italian scientist, was also part of this delegation. Monitoring of developments in Taiwan observation on the Taiwanese reality was entrusted mainly to the Italian Consulate in Hong Kong and then from 1968 to the Italian Embassy in Manila.
Italy recognized the People’s Republic of China on November 25, 1970 as the sole holder of sovereignty over China.
Trade ties with Taiwan began strengthening in the 1970s. Italian companies assisted Japanese ones in the construction of hydroelectric infrastructure (Taichung).
A second parliamentary mission took place in 1979.An Association for Friendship and Cultural Relations was founded in 1980.
In 1989 the Italian Institute of Foreign Trade opened an office in Taipei. In 1992 the inter-parliamentary friendship group Italy-Taiwan was established which was instrumental to the Italian government’s decision in 1994-1995 to establish the Italian Office of Economic, Commercial and Cultural Promotion.
Italians in Taiwan
Approximately 750 Italian nationals reside in Taiwan. There are no Italian associations, nor is there an Italian Chamber of Commerce. A website and a Facebook group are active (disclaimer: this Office is not responsible for the views expressed and their contents).