Fri, 01 Dec 2023

German minister to visit Taiwan in test of China relations

Robert Besser
20 Mar 2023, 13:01 GMT+10

BERLIN, Germany: Germany will send a cabinet minister to visit Taiwan next week, at a time when Berlin is reviewing its once close ties to China.

Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Germany's education minister, will discuss improving Germany-Taiwan cooperation in developing and manufacturing computer semiconductor chips, a Germany ministry spokesperson said.

However, there are no plans to discuss issues of sovereignty, German officials noted.

For decades, China has threatened to forcibly occupy democratically-governed Taiwan, claiming it as its own territory.

In January, a visit to Taiwan by German members of parliament caused an angry response by China.

German sources have said that during the German visit, Stark-Watzinger would not meet with President Tsai Ing-wen, following orders from the German government.

For many years, Berlin has maintained low level contacts with Taiwan.

Germany is currently seeking a new China strategy, in a bid to reduce its dependence on China, which has been a critical export market for German goods.

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