Germany needs ‘active policy’ that goes beyond ‘obsolete’ one-China principle, says Taiwan’s de facto ambassador
Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Berlin has invited German lawmakers to visit Taipei, saying that Germany’s membership of the “One China Policy” is “outmoded.”
In an interview with the Tagesspiegel newspaper, published following the controversial visit of the speaker of the American House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan, Jhy-Wey Shieh proposed that “a delegation from the Bundestag led by the President of Parliament” visit the island.
“This would not come from the parliamentary groups, but from the Bundestag – as an independent legislative body which represents the people and does not report to the government,said the representative of Taiwan. He added that the delegation could meet the island’s chief Tsai Ing-wen and the speaker of parliament.
The visit by Nancy Pelosi, the third-highest ranking official in the US government, has infuriated China, which considers Taiwan an integral part of its territory. Beijing has pledged to “take the necessary and resolute countermeasuresand is currently conducting large-scale military exercises in several regions around Taiwan. Shieh said the exercises carry “greatest potential for military conflictsince the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996.
The Taipei representative also insisted that “the old hypothesis“that Germany must stick to the”One China Policyto prevent China from tampering with the status quo needs to be revised. According to him, Germany needs “an active China-Taiwan policy that goes beyond that.“Like Washington, Berlin officially considers Taiwan to be part of China, but has unofficial ties to the island.
Late last year, the Bundestag passed a resolution calling on the government to review its Taiwanese policy in order to deepen trade with Taiwan, but ruled out the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations with the island.
On Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock confirmed that the government would continue to adhere to the “one China policy”. Speaking in Canada, the minister stressed that “the status quo in the Taiwan Strait can only be changed peacefully and with the mutual consent of all parties involved.” Commenting on the situation surrounding Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, Baerbock echoed the G7 statement, accusing Beijing of “threatening military gestures”.
The day before, Baerbock warned China against escalating tensions with Taiwan and said Germany would help Taipei in the event of a dispute with Beijing.
Meanwhile, China has warned that those who follow the US lead in “play with fire” will pay the price. At a press briefing on Tuesday, China’s ambassador to London, Zheng Zeguang, said British politicians should refrain from talking about “help Taiwan to defend itself”, or visit the island. Such actions, he said,will inevitably lead to serious consequences for Sino-British relations.”
Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949, when the Chinese Nationalist government fled to the island after its defeat in the civil war. Beijing has repeatedly warned that the one-China principle is a red line.