German lawmaker lauds Taiwan's democratic development in Tsai meeting

10/03/2022 01:21 PM
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German lawmaker Klaus-Peter Willsch (left) and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (right) at the Presidential Office on Monday. CNA photo Oct. 3, 2022
German lawmaker Klaus-Peter Willsch (left) and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (right) at the Presidential Office on Monday. CNA photo Oct. 3, 2022

Taipei, Oct. 3 (CNA) Taiwan should be proud of its democratic development, a visiting German lawmaker told President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office on Monday.

Klaus-Peter Willsch, chair of the German-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, made the remarks during a meeting between Tsai and a cross-party parliamentary delegation led by him, which is the first of its kind from Germany to visit Taiwan since the COVID-19 pandemic began in late 2019.

During the meeting, Willsch recalled that he and Tsai first met in Berlin in 2011, when the latter was chair of the then opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) while his Christian Democratic Union (CDU) was the ruling party of Germany.

Now the CDU is an opposition party while Tsai has become the president of Taiwan and the DPP is the ruling party, said Willsch, who has headed the friendship group since 2010.

"This is the true meaning of democracy and Taiwanese people should be proud of Taiwan's democratic development," the senior member of the German Federal Parliament said.

The lawmaker lauded Taiwan for playing a major role in the world's semiconductor industry. "The world's industries will face serious problems without Taiwan's semiconductors," he said.

He then pointed out that a country near Germany was now bravely defending its democracy amid military assault launched by another country, referring to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Willsch said the German Federal Parliament has over the years passed a series of resolutions and papers to pledge its support toward Taiwan should it come under attack from China.

Source: Presidential Office

President Tsai, meanwhile, expressed gratitude toward Germany as the country is serving as rotating president of the G7 this year, in which capacity it has overseen the issuance of joint statements by G7 leaders and foreign ministers that showed concern for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

She said that at the World Health Assembly in May, for the first time, Germany expressed clear support for Taiwan's participation as an observer.

Taiwan and Germany share common values such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and human rights, and enjoy close cooperation in various fields, according to the president.

Amid the expansion of authoritarian regimes, Tsai called on all democratic countries to work closer, jointly strengthening democratic resilience to promote peace and prosperity.

According to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the seven-person parliamentarian delegation led by Willsch includes five deputy chairs of the parliamentary friendship group.

The delegation consists of lawmakers from six different political parties, and is the first official one from the German parliament to come to Taiwan since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to MOFA.

During their five-day visit through Thursday, the delegation members will also visit the Legislative Yuan and meet with lawmakers of the Taiwan and Germany Parliamentary Friendship Association, and hold meetings with local security think tanks.

The delegation is also scheduled to visit the Tainan Science Park to enhance two-way exchanges in trade and investment, high-tech industry, and supply-chain security, MOFA said.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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