Tensions around Taiwan have increased. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, concerns are growing that China could launch a similar attack on the island. An FDP delegation wants to show their support in Taipei.
Overshadowed by new Chinese military maneuvers near Taiwan, a delegation of FDP politicians arrived today to visit the democratic island republic. Against the background of China’s threats against Taiwan, the parliamentarians want to send a signal of support with their trip. During their four-day visit to Taipei, the MPs will also be received by President Tsai Ing-wen.
Before the delegation landed, China’s People’s Liberation Army began new maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait Straits. China’s eastern command spoke of “joint combat readiness and military patrols as well as real combat exercises”. The aim is to test the abilities of the troops and “resolutely counteract provocative actions by external forces and separatist forces for “Taiwan independence”,” it said in a statement.
In the 24 hours to Monday morning alone, 57 Chinese military aircraft and 4 warships were in action near Taiwan, the Defense Ministry in Taipei reported. 28 planes crossed the Taiwan Strait center line – previously respected by China, and entered Taiwan’s air surveillance zone (ADIZ).
China keeps up the pressure
After Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, concerns are growing that China could invade Taiwan in a similar way. The leadership in Beijing regards Taiwan only as part of the People’s Republic and threatens to conquer it. Tensions had recently intensified. After the visit of the then Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, in August, Beijing launched large-scale military maneuvers. Since then, China has kept up the pressure with exercises and increased deployments of warships and aircraft near Taiwan.
During their visit to Taipei, the approximately ten-strong FDP delegation is planning talks with politicians, scientists, economic experts, human rights activists and the military. In addition to the President, high-ranking interlocutors are Premier Su Tseng-chang, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and Speaker of Parliament You Si-kun. The group is led by the FDP federal vice and first parliamentary secretary Johannes Vogel and the chairwoman of the defense committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann.
Third German delegation in four months
Even in the run-up to the visit, there was disagreement between Beijing and Berlin. The Chinese embassy protested: “With the visit and the statements on it, everyone involved disregards the fact that the forces for “Taiwan independence” and their supporters are challenging the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China,” said a statement in the federal capital yesterday.
The group of the FDP parliamentary group is the third German delegation to visit Taiwan in the past four months. In October, the Bundestag’s Circle of Friends for Relations with Taiwan and the Human Rights Committee were in Taipei.
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