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Special feature: Taiwan
Dear Readers!
The presidential elections in Taiwan were won by acting President Ma Ying-jeou in the first round – an impressive result. The vote indicates that the Taiwanese people want to proceed with improving relations with the People’s Republic of China. As chairperson of the German-Taiwanese Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag which, due to the One-China policy, is called the “Berlin-Taipei Parliamentary Friendship Group”, I am pleased that the elections have led to a special feature on Taiwan.

The main focus of the German-Taiwanese relations is on economics, science and culture. Members of the friendship group often assume tasks which, in other states, would be performed by members of the government. If, for example, the First Lady of Taiwan visits Germany, it is normally we
who welcome her. Taiwan’s political leadership (“Top 7”) is not permitted to enter our country. Taiwan is a stable democracy, something which cannot be taken for granted in the region. For this reason, many colleagues regret that Taiwan is being “left by the wayside” in as far as politics is concerned – despite the flourishing trade relations – which is why they are active in the friendship group. The abolition of the Schengen visa requirements and the double taxation treaty are great achievements, which we have fought for intensively. The One-China policy sets a very narrow framework, which is also respected by Taiwan. As members of the friendship group, we – within this framework – are working on removing barriers and ensuring that no new ones are set up.
 

Klaus-Peter Willsch
Member of the German Bundestag

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