German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle on Thursday acknowledged a mistake in one of its Chinese-language reports that was based on an interview with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and said that the article has been replaced with a corrected version.
In addition to publishing an updated, corrected version, Deutsche Welle added a note at the end of the article offering a clarification of Ma’s remarks, the broadcaster’s Chinese-language service head Philipp Bilsky said.
The note said that the original version mistakenly quoted Ma as saying that he is willing to learn from the experience of the former East and West Germany in their handling of bilateral relations, while moving toward eventual unification in 1990.
What Ma said in the interview was that he is willing to learn from the experience of East Germany and West Germany in the handling of their relations, the note said.
The Presidential Office also issued a statement on the matter late on Thursday.
Presidential Office spokesperson Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) said the article, which quoted a Deutsche Presse-Agentur report, was inaccurate and added that no Deutsche Welle personnel were present when the president made his comments on Monday to European correspondents based in Asia.
The spokeswoman said that contrary to the DW article, the president made it clear during the interview that the Taiwan-China relationship is different from the Cold War relationship between East and West Germany, meaning that Taiwan cannot emulate the German model in its cross-strait relations.