Taiwan should be proud of its democratic development, Klaus-Peter Willsch, chair of the German-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, said at a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office yesterday.
Willsch is leading a delegation of cross-party parliamentarians, the first of its kind to visit Taiwan since the COVID-19 pandemic began in late 2019.
Willsch said that he first met Tsai in Berlin in 2011, when she was the chair of the then-opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), while his Christian Democratic Union (CDU) was Germany’s ruling party.
Now the CDU is an opposition party while Tsai has become the president of Taiwan and the DPP is the ruling party, said Willsch, who has headed the friendship group since 2010.
“This is the true meaning of democracy and Taiwanese people should be proud of Taiwan’s democratic development,” he said.
The lawmaker lauded Taiwan for playing a major role in the world’s semiconductor industry.
“The world’s industries will face serious problems without Taiwan’s semiconductors,” he said.
He said that a country near Germany is now bravely defending its democracy amid military assault launched by another country, referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The German Federal Parliament has over the years passed a series of resolutions and papers to pledge its support for Taiwan should it come under attack from China, he said.
Tsai thanked Germany, which holds the G7’s rotating presidency this year, for overseeing the issuance of joint statements by G7 leaders and foreign ministers showing concern for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
At the World Health Assembly in May, Germany, for the first time, expressed its clear support for Taiwan’s participation as an observer, she said.
Taiwan and Germany share common values such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights, and enjoy close cooperation in various fields, she added.
Amid the expansion of authoritarian regimes, Tsai called on all democratic countries to work closer, jointly strengthening democratic resilience to promote peace and prosperity.
The visiting delegation includes five deputy chairs of the parliamentary friendship group, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
It consists of lawmakers from six political parties, and is the first official one from the German parliament to come to Taiwan since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.
During their five-day stay until Thursday, the delegation is also to visit the Legislative Yuan and the Tainan Science Park to enhance two-way exchanges in trade and investment, high-tech industry, and supply-chain security, the ministry said.
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