A German parliamentary delegation would visit Taiwan in the first week of October, German lawmaker Holger Becker on Monday told visiting Democratic Progressive Party legislators Fan Yun (范雲) and Lin I-chin (林宜瑾) at the Bundestag in Berlin.
Asked by Fan whether he is worried about possible reprisals from Beijing, such as banning him and his family from entering China, Becker said he is more interested in visiting Taiwan, as “now is the time for democracies to stand together.”
Fan and Lin also met with German officials to exchange views on digital education and governance.
Photo courtesy of Fan Yun
Investing in digital infrastructure and protecting equal rights to education are key parts of Becker’s political platform, Fan said, adding that he is concerned about the harm caused by online hate speech to democracy and individuals.
German news agency DPA separately reported that the Bundestag’s Committee on Human Rights would also send a delegation of eight lawmakers from six political parties to Taiwan at the end of October.
The Formosa Club, a group of Taiwan-friendly lawmakers in Europe, issued a statement on Monday urging China to cease its military intimidation of Taiwan.
The group condemned China for undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, adding that China must not “unilaterally change the status quo by force against the will of the Taiwanese people.”
Lawmakers have the duty and right to travel internationally to support freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, which should not be used as an excuse for provocation, the statement said.
Seventy-nine lawmakers from 28 legislative bodies, including those in Europe and Canada, as well as the European Parliament, vowed to “stand by and support Taiwan” through “regular visits, joint dialogues or cooperation,” it said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked the group for speaking out for Taiwan so quickly and encouraged democratic partners to visit the nation to show their support.
The ministry reiterated that like-minded nations around the globe should stand together against China’s irresponsible actions, as “being overlenient would send a wrong message to Beijing and endanger peace across the Taiwan Strait and around the world.”
Separately, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis in an opinion piece published by the UK’s Telegraph newspaper on Monday voiced his support for Taiwan and condemned Chinese aggression.
He called on the world to safeguard global security instead of considering smaller democratic countries “expendable” to appease authoritarian countries in an attempt to avoid conflict.
“Appeasement does not lead to peace,” he said, adding that “the free world cannot and will not allow Taiwan to become a second Ukraine.”
INCREASED RISK: The Omicron BA.2.75 subvariant has higher immune evasive capacity, but the CECC is more concerned about newer subvariants such as XBB and BQ.1 With the peak season for infectious respiratory diseases coming to an end, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that details of the next phase of lifting COVID-19 masking rules — removing the mask requirement in most indoor settings — are to be announced this week. Discussions on lifting other COVID-19 restrictions are also being held, including further easing border control measures, home isolation requirements and revising the definition for reporting cases, while also downgrading COVID-19 to a lower category of notifiable communicable disease, said Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the CECC. As the daily
GUT FEELING: In the leaked memo, US Air Force General Mike Minihan urged mobile command personnel to go to a firing range, shoot at a target and ‘aim for the head’ A four-star US Air Force general has warned of a conflict with China as early as 2025 — most likely over Taiwan — and urged his commanders to push their units to achieve maximum operational battle readiness this year. In an internal memorandum that first emerged on social media on Friday, and was later confirmed as genuine by the Pentagon, Air Mobility Command Commander General Mike Minihan said that the main goal should be to deter “and, if required, defeat” China. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Minihan said. Minihan said that Taiwan’s presidential election
PEACE AND STABILITY: The two nations called for the peaceful resolution of cross-Taiwan Strait issues through dialogue without the threat or use of force or coercion The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked France and Australia for voicing their support for Taiwan, saying that peace across the Taiwan Strait is crucial to the stability and prosperity of international society. France and Australia on Monday pledged to deepen ties with Taiwan and reiterated their support for its participation in international organizations at this year’s Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultations in Paris. The meeting between French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna, French Minister of the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong (黃英賢) and Australian Minister for Defence Richard Marles was the second
DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM: Czech president-elect Petr Pavel said his nation stands firmly on the side of democracy and would boost cooperation with Taipei in all aspects Czech president-elect Petr Pavel spoke by telephone with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday, a highly unusual move given the lack of formal ties and a diplomatic coup for Taipei. Tsai spoke with Pavel for 15 minutes in a harmonious atmosphere, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said, adding that Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) was also present during the conversation. Lin quoted Pavel as telling Tsai that Taiwan is a trustworthy partner, adding that the Czech Republic stands firmly on the side of democracy and supports Taiwan in maintaining a lively democratic system free from authoritarian coercion. The Czech Republic would