Taiwan

Germany will not arm Taiwan, senior lawmaker says

Reuters
Germany will not arm Taiwan, senior lawmaker says

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen meets Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, head of Germany's parliamentary defence committee, at the presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan, January 10, 2023. Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via REUTERS

Wary of angering China and prompting a trade backlash, most countries do not sell arms to Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Germany will not provide Taiwan with weapons and has not been asked to do so, as the situation is different from Ukraine’s, a senior German lawmaker said on Wednesday while on a trip to Taipei.

Democratically-ruled Taiwan, viewed by China as its own territory, has faced increased pressure from Beijing which staged war games near the island last August. Taiwan rejects China’s sovereignty claims.

Wary of angering China and prompting a trade backlash, most countries do not sell arms to Taiwan.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, the head of Germany’s parliamentary defense committee and a member of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s junior coalition partner Free Democrats (FDP), told a news conference in Taipei that Germany had been generous in sending weapons to Ukraine.

“The situation here is a different one. Our role is less military here. It’s an economic question,” she said, speaking in English.

Pressed on whether Western countries should be helping arm Taiwan given China’s stepped up military threat, Strack-Zimmermann said Germany would not do so.

“There’s no question to send weapons to Taiwan. That is not the question. We talked a lot here with people, with the politics, and the question is not ‘please Germany send us weapons’,” she added.

“It’s not a question of military equipment. I think there are different partners here.”

Taiwan condemns China for latest combat drills near island

Taiwan condemns China for latest combat drills near island

Johannes Vogel, the FDP’s deputy chairman, said at the same news conference there was a “moral obligation” to avoid military aggression in the Taiwan Strait.

“And then one has to think what can you bring on the table, and we think the economic dimension of avoiding a horrible scenario is something we can effectively bring on the table.”

Both met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday. China has condemned their trip.

Taiwan’s armed forces are mostly equipped with weapons either made domestically or by the United States, though France has previously sold fighter jets and warships to Taiwan, and the Netherlands sold Taiwan two submarines in the 1980s.

Germany has traditionally had a close diplomatic and business relationship with China and, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

But Berlin has been considering a raft of measures to make business with China less attractive as it seeks to reduce its dependency on Asia’s economic superpower, a strategy paper seen by Reuters last month showed. – Rappler.com

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