German man launches petition for his country to recognize Taiwan

Taipei-A German man is seeking worldwide endorsement of a petition he has launched to ask his government to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

The petition initiated by Michael Kreuzberg was submitted to the German parliament on May 31 and posted online Sept. 11 to collect signatures, sources close the parliament in Germany told CNA on Tuesday.

More than 50,000 signatures will be required by Oct. 9 in order for the petition to be put on the parliamentary agenda for debate, the sources said.

It is open to endorsements by citizens of any country, not just Germany, the sources said.

As of Wednesday, the petition had collected just over 20,000 signatures.

If the petition is approved by the parliament, German lawmakers will be able to ask the government to forge formal relations with Taiwan, according to Taiwan's representative office in Munich.

The petition states that after years of development, Taiwan has become a true democracy, as is the standard in Germany. However, Germany does not recognize Taiwan, but rather has diplomatic relations with China, a fact that is perplexing, the petition notes.

China, which has on its record the Tiananmen Square incident on June 4, 1989 that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 people, is a member of the United Nations, while Taiwan is not, the petition states.

Commenting on the petition, Taiwan's foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (???) said Wednesday that it was a voluntary action by German citizens and involved the legislative process and foreign policy in Germany.

Germany is one of Taiwan's close partners and they have bilateral strong cooperation and exchanges, Ou said, adding that Taiwan will continue to build the partnership on that foundation.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel