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.
Taiwanese have donated more than NT$10 million (US$329,946) to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, following an appeal for help by a Yilan-based Italian priest to save his “other homeland.” Catholic Father Giuseppe Didone on Wednesday issued a public letter asking for donations to be made to the fundraising center of Camillian Saint Mary’s Hospital Luodong to purchase emergency provisions, including surgical masks and protective gowns, for medical personnel in Italy. Didone yesterday expressed his gratitude and said that he was touched by the love shown by Taiwanese. While state-funded hospitals in Italy are mostly adequately supplied, many local clinics are suffering from
MISCONCEPTION: Cats can injure themselves if they fall from a high place, despite being able to right themselves, an advocate said, urging owners to secure their windows Injuries from falls and poisoning are common among domesticated cats, two animal welfare advocates said, urging cat owners to pay attention to the safety of their pets. “Placing netting over metal window grates is a common and important measure to protect cats from falling,” said one of the advocates, who used the alias “Cuddy.” Some owners let their cats roam outdoors, but doing so could be dangerous for the animals, said the other advocate, who used the alias “Mark.” As cats love high places and have hunting instincts, they can easily endanger themselves when trying to pounce on birds or bats from a
‘TAIWAN IDENTITY’ The outbreak in China occurred as Taiwan was promoting its own national character, which is fundamentally changing cross-strait exchanges China’s initial cover-up of the COVID-19 outbreak has further deepened the distrust between Taipei and Beijing, dealing an irreparable blow to cross-strait exchanges, analysts said. Since March 2018, when a US-China trade dispute began to unfold, decoupling from China has become a worldwide trend, which has been reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chien Hsin University of Science and Technology professor Yen Chien-fa (顏建發) said on Friday. Taiwan started distancing itself from China before the rest of the world with its New Southbound Policy and deepening its ties with like-minded nations, he said. Yen said that he does not believe that anyone would buy
‘USE ECONOMICALLY’: People can use rice cookers to sterilize masks and reuse them three to five times, the FDA director-general said, reminding people not to use water People should not waste masks even with the purchasing quotas increasing this week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, adding that sterilization with a rice cooker is a good way to extend supplies. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from Thursday, people can buy nine masks per 14 days, which should be sufficient. “However, I have to urge everyone to use masks economically,” Chen said, adding that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released information on how masks can be reused. FDA Director-General Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) said that masks can be put