German minister heading to Taiwan, first such visit in 26 years

by | Mar 17, 2023 | World

A government spokesperson says the visit will focus on semiconductors and not the island’s sovereignty.Germany’s education minister is scheduled to make an official trip to Taiwan early next week, the highest-level visit by a German official since 1997 to an island that China claims as part of its territory.
Bettina Stark-Watzinger’s visit will aim to improve cooperation between Berlin and Taipei on semiconductors, a ministry spokesperson said on Friday, adding that the issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty will not be the focus of the trip.
Stark-Watzinger will visit from Monday to Wednesday as tensions rise between China and the West, including over Beijing’s stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. China reacted angrily when then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi travelled to Taiwan last year.
China views democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory and has increased military, political and economic pressure to assert those claims.
German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said the visit did not indicate any change in position when it comes to Berlin’s policy on Taiwan, which supports the European Union’s practice of cooperating with Taipei at the technical level.
“We are also in regular and close contact with China and the Chinese leadership,” he said. “The visit that the minister for education and research is making to Taiwan now doesn’t call into question our stance in any way.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated before a planned trip to Japan on Saturday that he stands by Beijing’s so-called “one China” policy, which asserts that there is only one sovereign state with the name China. Berlin nonethele …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This