Playing with Fire (III)

German Bundestag delegation on visit to Taiwan seeks to promote its “independence,” declaring the island – part of China under international law – a “nation.” Washington maximizes pressure on Beijing.

BERLIN/TAIPEI (Own report) – With its visit to Taiwan, a German Bundestag delegation seeks to promote its “independence,” thus threatening to exacerbate tensions over the island. Over the weekend, leader of the delegation, Peter Heidt (FDP), declared the visit serves to support “Taiwan as a nation.” German parliamentarians are thereby violating the globally recognized One-China-Principle, which had also been confirmed by the UN General Assembly already decades ago. In case a peaceful reunification with Taiwan is rendered impossible – for example by a formal secession of the island or its official recognition as a separate state – China reserves the right to intervene militarily. Berlin’s offensive, which is in line with similar statements by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock for example, disregards the majority of the Taiwanese population’s wish not to challenge the highly sensitive status quo. The USA is arming Taiwan – with the same weapons systems it had provided Ukraine before Russia’s intervention, for the case that a provocation, such as the one by Berlin, incites Beijing to take military action.

Visit to Taiwan

The visit to Taiwan by six members of the Bundestag’s Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid Committee is already the second German parliamentary delegation this month. The first arrived on the island in the beginning of October.[1] The program again includes talks with the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, as well as other ministers, members of parliament and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The German delegation, which also plans to discuss “Taiwan’s current security policy and economic situation – quite astounding for the Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid Committee [2] – will subsequently continue with its trip on to Japan for talks. These talks, however, will remain within the bounds of their protocolary status. In Tokyo the delegation will neither meet the prime minister nor the foreign minister, but members of Japan’s parliamentary committees and NGO representatives. Talks with the head of the Japanese Section of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) are specifically mentioned. The WUC, which is headquartered in Munich (Germany) uses the emblem of the Islamic Republic of East Turkistan, which had seceded briefly from China in 1933.[3]

Renunciation of the One-China-Principle

Already before their trip, the delegation’s head, Peter Heidt (FDP), had announced the dual objectives of the visit. On the one hand, the delegation would be seeking “close cooperation” and on the other, the promotion of “Taiwan’s independence,”[4] because, according to Heidt, the island is a legitimate “nation.”[5] The FDP deputy is thus openly torpedoing the internationally recognized One-China-Principle, stipulating that there is only one Chinese nation, and confirmed, for example, by the UN General Assembly’s October 25, 1971 Resolution 2758.[6] This provides increasing evidence that Berlin, contrary to its pronouncements, is gradually renouncing the One-China-Principle. In early August, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had already declared that she does not “accept” a “larger neighbor invading its smaller neighbor in violation of international law.”[7] This formulation in reference to a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan, undermines the One-China-Principle, by formally placing the island on a par with the People’s Republic. Klaus-Peter Willsch (CDU), had already adopted this formulation when he headed the visit of the Bundestag’s delegation in Taipei in early October. Heidt is now endorsing it.[8]

“The Decisive Decade”

With its repeated attacks on the One-China-Principle, Berlin is disregarding the will of the Taiwanese population, 85 percent of whom, according to surveys, currently reject any change in the highly sensitive status quo of the Island.[9] Berlin is however following Washington’s lead, which for its part, is doing its best to upgrade Taiwan and thereby alter that status quo. This is based on President Joe Biden’s calculation that the United States has entered the “decisive decade” of its great rivalry with China and therefore must mobilize all available forces and means to prevent China’s further ascendence.[10] For example, the Biden administration has just imposed an extensive semiconductor embargo on China, to deprive the most advanced branches of China’s high-tech industry – artificial intelligence (AI), supercomputing – of the necessary high-performance chips and thus destroy it. Experts refer to a “decapitating strike.”[11] China is “the sole rival” that “harbors both the intention” to “reshape the international order” but also the capacity to do so, according to the new National Security Strategy of the USA. Therefore, China must be “outcompeted.”[12]

“Taiwan as a Nation”

Against this backdrop, western countries are provoking the next major war by successively upgrading Taiwan. The People's Republic of China has written into law that it is oriented toward seeking a peaceful reunification with Taiwan. However, Beijing reserves the right in principle to apply any means necessary – including military – to achieve unification, only if reunification by peaceful means is made impossible, be it by a formal Taiwanese declaration of secession or through foreign powers’ recognition of Taiwan as a nation. This principle was explicitly confirmed last week at the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Whereas Taiwan’s population aspires to maintain the status quo, western powers are gradually seeking to alter it – including Berlin’s efforts to declare Taiwan a “nation” on a par with the People's Republic. For the case that the West provokes a Chinese invasion of the island, the United States has begun providing the Taiwanese armed forces with the same weapons and training that the Ukrainians had received prior to the war. Taipei is receiving – as had Kiev earlier – portable anti-aircraft and anti-ship weapons and is being trained in guerilla warfare. ( reported.[13])

No Sleepwalkers

The delegation of the Bundestag’s Human Rights Committee is not taking blatant risks by accident, but in full awareness. Heidt was quoted, that they were fully aware “that we must expect to encounter an unfriendly reaction from China.”[14] That’s acceptable. Heidt was referring to a situation, in which international public opinion sees a quite high potential for war. Just recently, the Wall Street Journal, one of the most influential dailies in the United States, ran an extensive article dedicated to the escalating tensions surrounding the island, entitled “The Coming War Over Taiwan.”[15] The long-held popular thesis that western states could inadvertently steer into a war, like “sleepwalkers,” is long-since outdated. They are going there deliberately and without restraints.


[1] See also Playing with Fire.

[2] Ausschuss für Menschenrechte reist nach Taiwan und Japan. 21.10.2022.

[3] East Turkistan.

[4] Erneut Bundestagsabgeordnete in Taiwan. 23.10.2022.

[5] Felix Huesmann: Bundestagsabgeordnete zu Besuch in Taiwan: „Müssen mit unfreundlicher Reaktion Chinas rechnen“. 23.10.2022.

[6] See also Playing with Fire.

[7] See also Spiel mit dem Feuer (II).

[8] Felix Huesmann: Bundestagsabgeordnete zu Besuch in Taiwan: „Müssen mit unfreundlicher Reaktion Chinas rechnen“. 23.10.2022.

[9] Taiwan Independence vs. Unification with the Mainland (1994/12~2022/06). 12.07.2022.

[10] Demetri Sevastopulo: Joe Biden warns US faces ‘decisive decade’ in rivalry with China. 12.10.2022.

[11] See also „China niederkonkurrieren“.

[12] National Security Strategy. Washington, October 2022.

[13] See also Spiel mit dem Feuer (II).

[14] Felix Huesmann: Bundestagsabgeordnete zu Besuch in Taiwan: „Müssen mit unfreundlicher Reaktion Chinas rechnen“. 23.10.2022.

[15] Hal Brands, Michael Beckley: The Coming War over Taiwan. 04.08.2022.