German Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann on Tuesday welcomed Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) in Berlin, the first time justice ministers from the two countries have met, Taiwan’s representative office in Germany said.
During the nearly hour-long meeting at the German Ministry of Justice, the officials discussed areas of possible cooperation between the two sides, Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) wrote on Facebook following the meeting.
The ministers agreed that the meeting was of “tremendous importance, both symbolically and in promoting practical exchanges,” Shieh said, adding that it showed that Taiwan and Germany are partners who share democratic values and should deepen relations.
Photo courtesy of the Representative Office of Taiwan in Berlin via CNA
The German Ministry of Justice confirmed the meeting in a statement, adding that it took place within the “one China” policy of the EU and German governments.
The talks focused on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, and also covered Internet fraud and extradition issues, the statement said.
In March, Taiwan and Germany signed an agreement regarding mutual legal assistance on criminal matters to bolster bilateral cooperation in judicial investigations and extradition proceedings.
Taipei’s relations with Berlin have warmed since Germany’s new coalition government came to power in late 2021.
In the new government’s policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific region, released on Sept. 14 last year, Berlin expressed concern over security in the Taiwan Strait for the first time, and stressed its opposition to non-peaceful attempts to change the “status quo.”
Two-way senior level visits by officials have also become more frequent.
German Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger visited Taipei in March, which was the first time a German minister had visited Taiwan since 1997.
In June last year, then-minister of culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) officially met his German counterpart for the first time in Berlin, calling the meeting a milestone for cultural exchanges between the two sides.
Lee, who was visiting Europe for the first time since taking office in May last year, met with German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Claudia Roth at the Bundestag in Berlin, where they discussed cultural exchanges, human rights and transitional justice issues, the Ministry of Culture said at the time.
Roth praised Taiwan during that meeting, saying it was “standing courageously in the front line against the Chinese authoritarian regime,” and that all democratic partners should stand with it, the ministry said.
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