German parliament passes resolution on deepening ties with Taiwan

The German parliament has passed a resolution calling on the government in Berlin to reassess its Taiwan policy and deepen exchanges with Taipei, but ruling out the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

The Petitions Committee of Germany's new parliament, which met for the first time in October following a federal election in September, passed a resolution on Dec. 9, urging the government to deepen exchanges with Taiwan.

The committee also decided to refer an earlier motion on establishing formal diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the foreign ministry and each parliamentary caucus.

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 which excludes the possibility of forging 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.

Moreover, in light of the rapid changing international situation, the German government should reevaluate its policy toward Taiwan, including potentially recognizing it as a sovereign state, and considering deepening exchanges and cooperation, according to the resolution.

The motion asking Germany to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan was initiated by German national Michael Kreuzberg in May 2019 and received more than 50,000 signatures in October that year, which required that it be advanced to parliament for discussion.

The Petitions Committee of the Bundestag, the German federal parliament, held a public hearing in December 2019 on the motion.

During the public hearing, Petra Sigmund, the director-general for Asia and the Pacific at the German Federal Foreign Office, said Taiwan and Germany share values, such as democracy and freedom, and conduct frequent exchanges in the economic, cultural and academic spheres. Germany plans to expand ties with Taiwan, she added.

However, Germany excludes the possibility of establishing diplomatic ties with Taiwan under its "one China" policy, Sigmund said at that time. The petition was subsequently shelved.

Taiwan's representative office in Germany welcomed the passage of the Dec. 9 resolution and thanked German lawmakers for supporting stronger relations with Taiwan, saying it looks forward to seeing the German government's response to the motion.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel