For the first time in 25 years, a German government member travels to Taiwan. This was met with harsh criticism from China. Beijing describes the visit as a “monstrous act”.
China has harshly criticized Germany’s first ministerial visit to Taiwan in 26 years. State Department spokeswoman Wang Wenbin described Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger’s trip on Tuesday as a “monstrous act”.
FDP politician arrived in the capital Taipei in the morning. No German minister had visited the island republic since 1997.
Stark-Watzinger received a wonderful welcome.
The first cameras are already on hold when Stark-Watzinger arrives at Taipei Airport Tuesday morning after a scheduled flight of more than twelve hours local time. The media rushes to Stark-Watzinger’s meeting with Taiwan’s Science Minister Tsung-Tsong Wu, as if Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has announced his presence.
In the presence of the German minister and his counterpart, representatives of Germany and Taiwan signed an agreement on broad-based cooperation in science and technology. The FDP politician later praised Taiwan as a “value partner”.
Beijing: Stop interacting with the “Taiwan Separatist Forces”.
The reaction from Beijing was swift: a ministry spokesman urged the federal government to adhere to the so-called one-China principle and “immediately stop interacting with and sending false signals to separatist forces in Taiwan.”
Like most countries, Germany does not recognize Taiwan as an independent state. China, which sees the island as a part of the People’s Republic, does not accept it. Ultimately, Beijing is threatening to conquer Taiwan unless “reunification” is achieved otherwise.
Taiwan talks about “historical event”
Taiwan’s Science Minister Wu spoke of a “historic event” during a meeting with Stark-Watzinger on Tuesday, and the visit was widely appreciated. Stark-Watzinger describes it as a great “joy and honor” to become the first female minister to visit Taiwan in 26 years.
Gezi apolitical emphasis
It does not respond to repeated questions about China and reactions from Beijing. The visitation program is deliberately kept out of politics.
But this cannot be completely separated from world politics. Prior to the trip, the Federal Ministry of Education had announced itself that it was “part of the diversification of international partnerships with like-minded countries (…) in global scientific cooperation”.
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