Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday said that a visit by a delegation of German lawmakers showed Berlin’s support for Taiwan, which is facing growing tensions with China.
The delegation, headed by Bundestag defence committee chairperson Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmerman, arrived in Taipei on Monday for a four-day trip.
“This visit demonstrates your friendship with and support of Taiwan, for which I expressed my deepest gratitude,” Tsai told the delegation during a meeting in her office.
She said: “Today, facing authoritarian expansionism, democracies must stand together upholding values of freedom and democracy.”
Tsai said the relationship between Taiwan and Germany had grown closer, citing the visits of two groups of German lawmakers in October.Chen Chu, chair of Taiwan’s National Human Rights Commission, visited Germany in December.
Strack-Zimmermann said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “a huge wake-up call” not only for Europe, Germany but also for the whole world.
“Now we could see what happened in Ukraine… It affects the whole world,” said Strack-Zimmermann from the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), which is part of Germany’s governing coalition.
“That’s the reason why we come to your country,” he said.
The German delegation of some 10 FDP lawmakers arrived ahead of an anticipated ministerial visit in spring.
Beijing has criticised the visit.
Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the self-ruled democracy part of its territory. (dpa/NAN)