Education Minister Stark-Watzinger: German visit to Taiwan angers China

Status: 03/21/2023 12:19 p.m

It is the first visit by a German government member in more than 25 years: Education Minister Stark-Watzinger is meeting scientists and politicians in Taiwan. This is met with sharp criticism from China – the trip is a “monstrous act”.

The visit of Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger to Taiwan was met with sharp protests in China. Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called the trip a “monstrous act.” China lodged a protest with the German side and expressed its “sharp disapproval”.

The FDP politician has arrived in the capital Taipei for a two-day visit – as the first member of a federal government in more than 25 years. The People’s Republic of China regards the democratically governed island republic as a separate part of the country. However, Taiwan was never under Chinese control.

China: Stop interacting with “separatist forces”.

The ministry spokesman called on the federal government to adhere to the so-called one-China principle and “stop interacting with Taiwan’s separatist forces and sending them the wrong signals immediately.” Wang Webin added, “We will do whatever is necessary to resolutely defend China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Like most countries, Germany does not recognize Taiwan as an independent state. However, the German government has expanded its relations with Taiwan in recent months.

Stark-Watzinger signs cooperation agreement with Taiwan

In Taiwan, Stark-Watzinger meets with government officials and scientists. The FDP politician said in Taipei that she felt honored to be able to visit the “esteemed partner” Taiwan.

She signed a technology cooperation agreement with Taiwan’s Science Minister Wu Tsung-tsong. It is “very important to her ministry and to herself to promote cooperation with like-minded partners”. The minister spoke of a “new chapter in research and innovation” in relations with Taiwan.

Stark-Watzinger emphasized that her visit was about professional exchange. She was “not here for reasons of a geopolitical nature”. Günter Rexrodt, then Federal Minister of Economics, last visited Taiwan in 1997.

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