Wed, Dec 11, 2019 - Page 2 News List

German official rejects petition

Staff writer, with CNA, BERLIN

A German official on Monday rejected a petition asking the country to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan, citing Berlin’s “one China” policy, but said it plans to expand its ties with Taiwan.

Petra Sigmund, the director-general for Asia and the Pacific at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Germany and China established diplomatic relations in 1972 and the country recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate representative of China.

Germany excludes the possibility of establishing diplomatic ties with Taiwan under its “one China” policy, Sigmund said, adding that it has no intention of changing the policy, in keeping with its EU partners.

Sigmund was responding to a petition launched by Michael Kreuzberg that asked Berlin to formally recognize Taiwan. The petition reached the 50,000-signature threshold in October, which required the German government to formally discuss it.

The Bundestag’s petitions committee on Monday held a public hearing about the issue that was attended by foreign ministry officials.

The committee is to decide whether to forward the petition to a parliamentary discussion.

Though Sigmund rejected the idea of establishing formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, she said Taiwan and Germany share values, such as democracy and freedom, adding that Taiwan is Germany’s “partner of values.”

Germany cherishes frequent exchanges with Taiwan in the economic, cultural and academic spheres, and plans to expand ties with Taiwan, Sigmund said, without elaborating.

Kreuzberg told the hearing that he launched the petition to forestall autocratic China’s annexation of democratic Taiwan and to ensure that Taiwan’s safety becomes the moral responsibility and obligation of Western nations.

Kreuzberg said he would deliver a similar petition to the European Parliament, because if other EU nations establish diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Germany might follow suit.

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