China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, “hopes and believes” Germany would back China’s “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, according to a statement issued by the Chinese foreign ministry on Saturday.
Wang made the statements during a meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who is in China till Saturday, and said that China has previously backed Germany’s reunification.
“It is necessary to firmly oppose separatist activities related to ‘Taiwan independence’ to maintain stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Wang said, adding that Taiwan’s “return to China” was an important component of the post-World War II international order.
On Friday, Baerbock said any attempt by China to control Taiwan would be unacceptable and would have serious repercussions for Europe. European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell echoed her remarks.
Beijing, which claims democratically governed Taiwan as a Chinese province, has never ruled out the use of force to bring the island under its control. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s government rejects China’s position, saying only Taiwan’s people can decide their future.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday it strongly approved of Baerbock’s comments.
“The Foreign Ministry thanks many high-level officials in the executive departments of various countries, including Germany, for their solidarity with Taiwan,” it said.
In a departure from the policies of Germany’s former chancellor, Angela Merkel, Olaf Scholz’s government is developing a new China strategy to reduce dependence on Asia’s economic superpower, until now a vital export market for German goods.
German Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger visited Taiwan last month, a trip China denounced as “vile”.
China staged three days of military drills from April 8 around Taiwan, including simulated precision strikes with bombers and missile forces, after Tsai returned from Los Angeles, where she met U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, infuriating Beijing.
Wang also said China is willing to strengthen exchanges and communication with Germany to enhance mutual understanding and prepare for a new round of Sino-German government consultations.