Tue, Nov 19, 2019 - Page 1 News List

German politician urges military links with Taipei

By Lu Yi-hsuan and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Facebook post by German lawmaker Ulrich Lechte supporting military exchanges between Germany and Taiwan is pictured yesterday.

Photo: Screen grab from Facebook

Germany and Taiwan should conduct military exchanges, which would be more meaningful than exchanges with China, German lawmaker Ulrich Lechte, a member of the Bundestag Committee on Foreign Affairs, said on Sunday.

“The free world should stand together,” the Free Democratic Party lawmaker wrote on Facebook.

The Taipei Representative Office in Germany’s Munich office shared Lechte’s post on its Facebook page, and thanked him for his continuing support of Taiwan.

The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that 62 nations, including China, are to receive training from the Bundeswehr, Germany’s military.

Eleven Chinese soldiers would be given training, including logistics, and one soldier is to receive press and public relations training, the newspaper said.

Amnesty International arms and human rights expert Mathias John criticized the plans to train Chinese soldiers, telling the paper that doing so was “incomprehensible” given China’s “human rights situation and the role the Chinese People’s Liberation Army plays” in human rights violations in China.

John also brought up the protests in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong police’s response to them.

Germany should “send a clear message and immediately cease all military cooperation with China,” he said.

A spokesperson for the German Ministry of Defense told the paper that Chinese soldiers regularly participate in educational events organized by the German military, including international officer courses, as well as officer training courses offered at military schools, universities and military leadership academies.

The weekly news magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday reported that the German government is planning to send warships into the South China Sea and through the Taiwan Strait as a way of “refuting Chinese territorial claims” in those areas.

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