The raised threat from China has led democracies around the world to increase their cooperation and support of Taiwan. Sweden, however, sticks out as the only European country that has in fact decreased its official presence in Taipei. The Nordic country has since summer 2020 not had any full-time official representatives in the country.
According to a July 2022 expose by Sweden-based news outlet Kinamedia, this absence points to Sweden worrying about ruffling feathers with China, which has invested heavily in Sweden. The country has invested more than SEK 100 billion (US $9.79 billion) and has created 27,000 jobs in Sweden, per China’s ambassador to Sweden, Cui Aimin. This could explain the country’s hesitancy in overtly supporting Taiwan. One example of China’s economic presence in Sweden is its ownership of Sweden’s largest employer, Volvo Cars, which employs 23,000 personnel.
The fact that Sweden has not offered the same level of assistance to Lithuania as many other European Union countries also hints to Sweden’s deference toward China, after the country imposed economic sanctions on Lithuania.
According to the Swedish Embassy’s website, Swedish citizens who require assistance in Taiwan are directed to contact the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok.
Read the entire expose in Swedish here: Kinamedia