| 29 May 2024, Wednesday |

Germany won’t arm Taiwan, says senior lawmaker

Berlin had no plans to send weapons to Taiwan, a senior politician in German defense circles told a news conference in Taipei on Wednesday.

Taiwan, viewed by Beijing as its own territory, has faced mounting pressure from China, which has been ramping up military, political and economic pressure to strengthen its claims.

What’s the latest?
German member of parliament Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann told a news conference in Taipei that Germany had been generous in sending weapons to Ukraine, but that this would not be the case with Taiwan.

“The situation here is a different one. Our role is less military here. It’s an economic question,” said Strack-Zimmermann, whose neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP) is part of Germany’s ruling coalition.

“There’s no question to send weapons to Taiwan. That is not the question,” she said, adding that they spoke with politicians and people in Taiwan “and the question is not ‘please Germany send us weapons.'”

“It’s not a question of military equipment. I think there are different partners here,” said the politician, who heads Germany’s parliamentary defense committee.
Taiwan’s military is mostly equipped with weapons either made domestically or by the United States. France has also previously sold fighter jets and warships to the island.

What’s been happening on the trip?
At a meeting on Tuesday, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen thanked Germany for its support following a meeting with a delegation of lawmakers from the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP).

“Today, facing authoritarian expansionism, democracies must stand together upholding values of freedom and democracy,” Tsai said.

The high-ranking parliamentary delegation from Germany is led by Strack-Zimmermann and party deputy chair Johannes Vogel.

China has strongly criticized the delegation of some lawmakers from the FDP, the smallest party of Germany’s ruling coalition government. The group landed in Taiwan for a four-day visit on Monday, causing consternation in Beijing.

China considers the self-ruled democracy, which has had an independent government since 1949, as part of its territory.

Beijing says its “One China” policy is the political basis for bilateral relations between China and its diplomatic partners, including Germany.

It has responded by holding military exercises, which some observers view as a rehearsal for a blockade or invasion.

  • DW