Any attempt or threat to change the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait by force is “unacceptable,” a visiting delegation of German Free Democratic Party (FDP) lawmakers from the Bundestag committees on defense, foreign affairs and human rights said yesterday in Taipei.
“The German Bundestag, the German government as well as European and all Western allies support the ‘one China’ policy, but we also believe that any change of the status quo in the Taiwan Strait can only be achieved by mutual agreement and any attempt to change the status quo by force, or any threat to do it by force, is unacceptable. That is the position of the international community, as laid out in the latest G7 statement, and it is our deep belief as well,” FDP deputy leader Johannes Vogel said when meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office.
“As the Free Democratic Party Parliamentary Group, we take matters of freedom especially to heart. Our visit here is also a gesture of support and solidarity against any threat of military aggression,” he said.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP
The 10-member delegation arrived on Monday for a four-day visit, the second group to visit from the Bundestag in three months. German Minister for Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger, who is also of the FDP, is scheduled to visit Taiwan later this year, which would be the first official visit by a German Cabinet member in 26 years.
China on Sunday announced that it would conduct military exercises around Taiwan from 6am on Sunday to 6am on Monday. Fifty-seven People’s Liberation Army aircraft and four navy vessels were detected around Taiwan as of 6am on Monday, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that 28 had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
German Bundestag Defense Committee Chairwoman Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmerman said the world changed when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 last year.
The invasion was a huge wake-up call not only for Europe and for Germany, but also for the whole world, she said.
Tsai said that exchanges between Taiwan and Germany in various fields have grown closer.
In October last year, a delegation of members of the German-Taiwan parliamentary friendship group and the committee on human rights and humanitarian aid visited Taiwan, highlighting cross-party support for Taiwan in the Bundestag, she said.
National Human Rights Commission Chairwoman Chen Chu (陳菊) reciprocated by leading a delegation to Germany, the highest-level meeting of human rights officials from both sides, she added.
The Bundestag last year also passed a resolution supporting Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly as an observer. It was the first time that more than 100 Bundestag lawmakers signed a petition in favor of Taiwan, Tsai said.
When China conducted prolonged military exercises near the Taiwan Strait, Germany, which then held the G7 presidency, expressed the importance of maintaining peace across the Strait in a joint statement by G7 foreign ministers, she said.
“Starting next year, Taiwan’s mandatory military service will be extended to one year. This will bolster our defense capabilities, and demonstrate our determination to defend our homeland and safeguard democracy,” she added.
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