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German petition on forging formal ties with Taiwan reaches threshold

2019/10/04 13:35:38

Berlin, Oct. 4 (CNA) A petition launched in Germany to urge that country to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan has received enough signatures to go to the parliament for debate.

As of Friday morning, the online petition had been signed by more than 53,000 people, which pushed it past the threshold of 50,000 that was required by Oct. 10 in order for it to be put on the agenda of the Bundestag, according to the parliament's website.

Initiated by someone called Michael Kreuzberg, the petition was submitted to the parliament on May 31 and posted online Sept. 11 to solicit signatures, according to sources close to the Bundestag.

"Since 1949 there has been a second China, namely the Republic of China, or Taiwan," the petition states, calling on the German government to establish formal ties with Taiwan.

The petition says that after years of development, Taiwan has become a true democracy, as is the standard in Germany. However, Germany does not recognize Taiwan, but rather has diplomatic relations with China, a fact that is perplexing, the petition says.

China, which has on its record the Tiananmen Square incident on June 4, 1989 that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 people, is a member of the United Nations, while Taiwan is not, the petition states.

"We therefore demand diplomatic recognition of the Republic of China," says the petition, which is open to endorsements by citizens of any country, not just Germany.

Commenting on the matter, Taiwan's representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) told CNA on Thursday that he was gratified to see the petition reach the threshold for parliamentary debate. "To certain degree, it reflects the current public climate in Germany," Shieh said.

The petition compares the autocratic China to democratic Taiwan and tries to address Taiwan's international isolation, he said.

Under Germany's regulations, after a petition reaches the required threshold, a parliamentary committee will invite the petitioner and government officials to attend a hearing in the Bundestag.

If the parliament eventually votes in favor of the petition, German lawmakers will then ask the government to forge formal relations with Taiwan, according to Taiwan's representative office in Munich.

(By Lin Yu-li and Elizabeth Hsu)
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