German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas on Wednesday last week voiced his opposition to China’s threat of using military force, making him the highest-ranking foreign official to speak out against Beijing’s Taiwan policy in several years.
Wong Ming-hsien (翁明賢), a professor at Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, on Saturday said that Maas’ remarks are part of German efforts to counter China’s rise as the EU becomes increasingly aware of the problems resulting from Beijing’s growing influence in the world.
Maas made the remarks at the German Bundestag, after Germany-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group Chairman Klaus-Peter Willsch, a Christian Democratic Union lawmaker, asked him about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) Jan. 2 speech.
In an address in Beijing on the 40th anniversary of the “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan,” Xi said that he would not renounce the use of force against foreign forces and pro-Taiwanese independence “separatists” that interfere with China’s goal of peaceful unification as he announced plans to explore a Taiwanese version of the “one country, two systems” model.
The German government would make clear, as it has in the past, that it disagrees with Beijing’s threat of military force against Taiwan, Maas said.
China has at least once persuaded individual EU members to block proposals about Taiwan that have come before the Council of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council, he said, adding that he hoped the EU would adopt majority rule, instead of requiring unanimity, and share Germany’s stance on issues related to Taiwan.
Germany has always believed in resolving cross-strait issues by peaceful means, German Minister for European Affairs Michael Roth said in a written response to the session.
Cross-strait dialogues should take place based on mutual respect, and the “status quo” should not be changed unless both sides agree, he added.
Commenting on Maas’ remarks, Wong said that China, in its rise, has been responsible for many problems worldwide, such as Beijing’s crackdowns on human rights in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and Tibet, as well as alleged attempts to gather intelligence from other governments through Huawei Technologies Co.
Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” plan and Germany’s “Industry 4.0” plan are mutually exclusive, and although China is Germany’s third-biggest market, the German government would not allow their trading partnership to affect its foreign policies, he said.
Germany’s attempts to counter China’s rise can be in part attributed to efforts by the nation’s representative offices abroad, he said.
As Germany is a federal republic, the Taiwanese government should consider promoting Taiwan through enhanced civic exchanges with local governments in Germany, he added.
The Han Kuang exercises, the nation’s major war games, are to start today and run for five days. The drills are to include a military aircraft emergency takeoff and landing exercise on a regular roadway on Wednesday, featuring all three fighter jet models in Taiwan’s fleet, a military source said last week. The drill is to begin at 6:30am on a 3km section of Provincial Highway No. 1 in Pingtung County’s Jiadong Township (佳冬), and feature an Indigenous Defense Fighter, an F-16V, a Mirage 2000-5 and an E-2K Hawkeye early warning aircraft, the source said. The emergency landing and takeoff drill aims to
MRNA VACCINE: Heart inflammation is rare, but possible after a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot, and students need to be aware of possible side effects, an expert said As Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations for students aged 12 to 17 are to begin on campuses on Thursday next week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged recipients to be especially watchful for five signs of possible myocarditis or pericarditis, which are rare adverse reactions to some COVID-19 vaccines. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices convener Lee Ping-ing (李秉穎) joined the CECC’s daily news briefing to report on possible side effects after receiving a BioNTech vaccine. Lee said that cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been observed in people in the US who have received mRNA COVID-19
Taiwan on Friday accused China of seeking to use the Honduran election to “create controversy” and undermine Taiwan’s long-standing ties with the country, saying it would strive to win support for Honduras’ relations with Taipei. Honduras’ main left-wing opposition party, the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE), led by ousted former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, has said that if it wins November’s presidential election it would seek to “readjust” the country’s debt and establish diplomatic relations with China. Honduras is one of 15 UN member countries that maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has already warned Honduras not
TESTING THE WATERS: Making the considerations public a day after a Biden-Xi phone call indicates that the US is testing China’s reaction, a think tank head said A Financial Times report that the US is considering allowing Taiwan to change the name of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington to feature the name “Taiwan” highlighted Washington’s “two-pronged” approach to China, a researcher said yesterday. The report on Friday said that Washington might allow the nation to change the office’s name to “Taiwan Representative Office.” The report came after US President Joe Biden on Thursday spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) by telephone for the first time since February. A White House readout of the call said that “the two leaders discussed the responsibility of both