Taiwan – Germany joins EU in cautiously bolstering relations with Taiwan

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Location: Taipei City – Taiwan

Language: English

Duration: 00:05:47

Source: A24

Restrictions: A24 clients

Dateline: 11/02/2022

Storyline:

Germany’s parliament has passed a resolution calling on the government to reassess its Taiwan policy and deepen exchanges with the island, but ruling out the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The resolution says that since the Federal Republic of Germany and the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations in 1972, the country has adhered to the so-called “One-China” policy that excludes the possibility of forging full diplomatic ties with Taiwan. However, Germany is supportive of conducting close political, economic and social engagement with Taiwan and expanded cooperation with Taipei is in the interest of Germany and Europe, it states.

Shots list:

(Soundbite) Dr. Zsuzsa Ferenczy, EU foreign policy expert:

“I would say that the German government’s new position is necessary and very clear. So, it’s new, at the same time important for Europe to mobilize member states to go into this direction where they are more aware of the implications of a more assertive China inside Europe, and what it means for these EU-China relations in the future, and Europe’s ability to protect its interests, as well as to promote its geopolitical interests, and pursue these interests in the world.”

– (Soundbite) Dr. Zsuzsa Ferenczy, EU foreign policy expert:

“The European Union passed its resolution on Taiwan which has called for intense political relations to pursue comprehensive ties and enhance partnership, as well as to intensify political cooperation. This is in line with what individual member states, including Germany, have put forward in their resolution. I think we are seeing a convergence across the EU in recognizing Taiwan’s relevance. Taiwan’s relevance for Germany falls under the car industry, as well as the machine and home appliances industry. But I think Germany is also interested in playing a more important role in Taiwan’s green transition. So, Germany is already present, helping to develop onshore wind farms, as well as off-shore wind parts with German developers and German turbines. I think that this is a mutual interest. So, both the European Union as a block and EU member states are interested in Europe’s digital and green transition, and so is Taiwan.”

– (Soundbite) Dr. Reinhard Biedermann, Associate Professor at Tamkang University Department of Global Politics and Economics:

“Indonesia, 300 million people; Philippines, 100 million and more. So, by increasing connectivity with the ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] states, we may also lose a little of our dependency on China. I think this is very important for German industries, but also German politics. Because now, due to COVID-19, we understand that the supply chain can be very sensitive. When there are interruptions, when you get too dependent on one or only a few suppliers, this is bad for your economy. So, you need a stronger distribution of locations, where to produce, who to depend on and where to get resources and so on. So, this is why the Chinese have increased assertiveness in international politics. And its aggressive policy toward Taiwan, against other neighbors, against the South China Sea, also alarm Germany. Germany should be more cautious about China and should invest more in countries that share the same values. Like democracy, human rights and so on; to decrease risks.”

– (Soundbite) Dr. Reinhard Biedermann, Associate Professor at Tamkang University Department of Global Politics and Economics:

“Well, overall, I think Germany for sure will continue to follow the One-China Policy. It means that it recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the only sovereign government of China. But below that assumption, there are much more opportunities to support Taiwan in international politics. Concerning for instance Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the World Health Organization, or Taiwanese’s observer status in some other organizations. So, this is of course not very satisfying for Taiwan, but on the other hand, there would be more opportunities. For instance, German ministers, maybe the economic minister or the science minister may visit Taiwan also. That is possible. Because only other ministers such as chancellors, foreign ministers and defense ministers are not allowed to visit Taiwan under the One-China Policy. But all other ministers could visit Taiwan. And I think this would be a good sign.”

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