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German foreign affairs magazine publishes Taiwan issue

2012/05/06 16:45:25

Berlin, May 5 (CNA) Diplomatisches Magazin, a German foreign affairs magazine, published a Taiwan issue in May to celebrate Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's inauguration to his second term.

"I am pleased that the elections have led to a special feature on Taiwan," said Klaus-Peter Willsch, chairman of the Berlin-Taipei Parliamentary Friendship Group and a member of the German Bundestag, or parliament.

Willsch commented in the magazine editorial that Ma's re-election indicates that Taiwan's people favor a continuation of policies that have seen improved relations with China.

However, the parliamentarian noted that although Taiwan and Germany enjoy flourishing trade relations, political advancement has been difficult due to Germany's narrow one-China framework, and he said his group is doing all it can to ensure that no new restrictions are imposed on Taiwan.

"Many colleagues regret that Taiwan is being 'left by the wayside' in as far as politics is concerned -- despite the flourishing trade relations -- which is why they are active in the friendship group," said Willsch. "The abolition of the Schengen visa requirements and a double taxation treaty signed last year are great achievements, which we have fought for intensively."

Taiwan is German's fifth-largest trade partner in the Asia-Pacific region, and in 2011, bilateral trade between the two countries reached 13 billion euros (US$17 billion), Hans-Joachim Otto, Germany's parliamentary state secretary to the federal minister of economics and technology, wrote in the magazine.

Otto said that Taiwanese companies are becoming market leaders in information and communication technology, as well as in LED and photovoltaic technology. Taiwan's economic development in the Asia-Pacific region has been impressive, said Otto.

With the signing of the cross-Taiwan Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement in 2010, Taiwan has become an alternative gateway for German investors looking to invest in China, Otto added.

(By Lillian Lin and C.J. Lin)