Germany’s fourth largest party, the Liberal Democratic Party, has become the first German party to advocate “self-determination for the people” of Taiwan by removing the “one-China policy” from its election platform and calling on Beijing to let the people of Taiwan freely choose their own political future. Taiwan’s ruling party legislator told Radio Free Asia that it hopes to expand its influence to become the mainstream public opinion in Germany.
The German Central News Agency reports that the Free Democratic Party (Freie Demokratische Partei, abbreviated as FDP) held its national party congress on September 16, and some party members proposed to delete the words “One China Policy” from its election campaign to avoid misunderstandings. This would give the Chinese leadership an excuse to suppress the opposition in Hong Kong, commit genocide against the Xinjiang minority, and send troops to occupy Taiwan. The proposal was finally approved by the LDP’s congress.
In its election campaign, the FDP affirmed Taiwan’s democracy and freedom as an alternative to the Chinese dictatorship, supported Taiwan’s participation in international organizations without the need to be recognized as a state, and suggested that Germany and the European Union expand their relations with Taiwan. The LDP condemns China’s military threat to Taiwan and plans to develop a joint defense strategy with European allies and countries such as Australia, Japan, India and the United States.
The German FDP advocates that China and Taiwan can only be reunited under the premise of peaceful coexistence, and that the long-term goal is to promote consensus between China and Taiwan through peaceful dialogue and to allow the people of Taiwan to freely decide their own political future.
Taiwan’s ruling party legislator: happy to see the contradiction between universal values and the “one China” proposition being focused on
Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party legislator Luo Chi-ching told Radio Free Asia in an interview that the German Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is a liberal party and part of the International Freedom Alliance.
We are happy to see that the German political parties have started to think about the contradictions and even conflicts between the values of freedom and democracy and human rights and the so-called ‘one China’,” Luo said. Therefore, regardless of the strength of this opposition party, we are sure that it has such support and position in the German society.”
Luo Zhizheng mentioned that Germany has a huge market for cars in China, including in travel restrictions, Germany is more conservative than other European countries. But the recent changes, to some extent, also reflect China’s war-wolf diplomacy and power expansion in Europe and around the world, has triggered a backlash.
Will the “abolition of one China” set off a “butterfly effect” and spread to mainstream public opinion?
We hope and expect that this will slowly become a mainstream voice in Germany,” said Luo Zhizheng, as the LDP fired the first shot. Many countries’ ‘one China’ has not become black and white, but their own political practice or actual practice, not to delete or not to delete the issue of one China, calling on each country does not need to ‘one China framework’ to tie themselves. “
Yan Zhensheng, a researcher at the Center for International Relations of Political Science University’s Institute of American and European Studies, pointed out in an interview with Radio Free Asia that the FDP was the first right-of-center party in Germany, playing a key minority. From the 1970s to the beginning of this century, the right-leaning and conservative “Christian Democratic Party” to which Chancellor Angela Merkel belongs and the left-leaning “Social Democratic Party” were unable to win more than half of the votes for a long time, and the FDP was able to do so by forming a coalition government. At that time, it was the tradition for the LDP chairman to be the foreign minister. In recent years, the LDP has declined and has been replaced by the Green Party, which has turned from the third largest party to the fourth largest party.
The Central News Agency reported that the LDP has about 12% support, but Yan Zhensheng mentioned that in the past, the LDP might have 7% to 10% support, but now it often fails to pass the 5% threshold. “To put it mildly, the LDP is no longer such a significant party, but it’s always good to take a stand. I think if they had the chance to govern today, they would consider more. Because it is a small party, it is also more willing to say what mainstream parties do not dare to say, because they do not need to be responsible and will not govern.”
Yan mentioned that even the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats together may not be more than half of the population, and the Social Democrats are also in decline, so they may form a coalition government with the Green Party instead. “Germany is very pragmatic and will have its own views once in power. Sometimes Germany needs some small parties to give them a shock, because too pragmatic.”
In addition, the Formosa Club, a Taiwan-friendly platform called for by the European Parliament and the chairmen of the Friends of Taiwan group in the British, French and German parliaments, has been signed by a total of 1,084 European parliamentarians and members of parliament, who have sent a joint letter to World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tan Desai, calling on him to invite Taiwan to participate in this year’s The “World Health Assembly (WHA)” video conference.
Taiwan scholars: International “verbal” support for Taiwan
The “Formosa Club” held an online meeting on the 17th, and Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that the meeting was chaired by Geller, chairman of the European Parliament’s Friends of Taiwan Group, and a number of co-chairs of the meeting said that they would continue to support Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, and would also continue to urge the EU Executive Committee to start a “bilateral investment agreement” (BIA) with Taiwan as soon as possible. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Geller, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Friendship Group for Taiwan. Foreign Minister Wu Chiu-sup said that the support of the club’s co-chairs and core members for Taiwan will strengthen the belief of the entire Taiwanese people in overcoming the epidemic and continuing to contribute to the international community.
Taiwan scholar Yan Chen-sheng believes that if the United States or Europe really wants to help Taiwan join international organizations, they should actually participate in the World Health Organization to co-sign, not just a dozen of Taiwan’s diplomatic countries formally proposing to support Taiwan’s participation each time. Like this time, the heads of the seven major industrial countries only “verbally” support Taiwan.
However, the ruling party’s legislator, Luo Zhi-cheng, believes that the power of multinational parliamentarians in tandem cannot be ignored. For many members of the World Health Assembly, Taiwan’s membership may not be a priority issue that they must urgently address.