Sat, Oct 05, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Petition on Taiwan ties reaches German threshold

Staff writer, with CNA, Berlin

The Bundestag’s Web site is pictured yesterday showing that a petition calling for the German government to establish formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan has past the threshold of 50,000 signatures.

Photo: Screen grab from the Petitions Committee of the German Bundestag Web site

A petition launched in Germany urging Berlin to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan has received enough signatures to advance to parliament for debate.

As of yesterday morning, the online petition had been signed by more than 53,000 people, pushing it past the threshold of 50,000 that was required by Thursday next week for it to be put on the agenda of the Bundestag, the German parliament’s Web site showed.

Initiated by Michael Kreuzberg, the petition was submitted to parliament on May 31 and posted online on Sept. 11 to solicit signatures, sources close to the Bundestag said.

“Since 1949, there has been a second China, namely the Republic of China, or Taiwan,” the petition states, calling on the German government to establish formal ties with Taiwan.

The petition says that after years of development, Taiwan has become a true democracy, as is the standard in Germany.

However, Germany does not recognize Taiwan, but rather has diplomatic relations with China, a fact that is perplexing, it says.

China, which has on its record the Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4, 1989, that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 people, is a member of the UN, while Taiwan is not, the petition states.

“We therefore demand diplomatic recognition of the Republic of China,” says the petition, which is open to endorsements by citizens of any country, not just Germany.

Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) on Thursday said that he was gratified to see the petition reach the threshold.

“To a certain degree, it reflects the current public climate in Germany,” Shieh said.

The petition compares autocratic China to democratic Taiwan and tries to address Taiwan’s international isolation, he said.

German regulations mandate that after a petition reaches the required threshold, a parliamentary committee must invite the petitioner and government officials to attend a hearing in the Bundestag.

If parliament eventually votes in favor of the petition, German lawmakers would then ask the government to forge formal relations with Taiwan, the Taiwanese representative office in Munich said.

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