Germany supports Taiwan’s participation in international forums: envoy

Taipei, Oct. 28 (CNA) Germany recognizes the role Taiwan plays in international affairs and supports its participation in global forums, such as the World Health Assembly (WHA) and Interpol, Germany's new top envoy to Taiwan told CNA during a recent interview.

On Wednesday, Thomas Prinz, the new director general of the German Institute Taipei, told CNA that his country recognizes "the constructive role Taiwan plays in international affairs."

Therefore, Germany is supporting Taiwan wherever it can in the framework of its "One China" policy, he said.

"Of course we would like to see Taiwan contributing and cooperating in the international forum," said Prinz, naming forums such as WHA and Interpol, both of which Taiwan is eager to join but has been blocked due to Chinese pressure.

"But unfortunately that is not in our hands, we try to support Taiwan, but the given situation is quite complicated," he said, referring to Beijing's oppression of Taipei on the global stage.

Asked to comment on current cross-Taiwan Strait relations that has been strained since President Tsai Ing-wen (???) assumed office in May 2016, Prinz said any step taken by each side to calm down tensions in the strait would be appreciated.

"Nobody can win in a violent conflict. I think China is aware of that. The stability in this part of the region is in the utmost interest of all the stakeholders," he stressed.

He also said that the international community needs China as a constructive partner -- especially on issues related to climate change and the World Trade Organization -- and China needs partners as well.

"In the end we all profit from a rules-based international order," he noted.

Calling Taiwan a likeminded democracy, Prinz said Germany will continue to support it "as much as we can under the difficult circumstances."

Citing some examples of such close cooperation, the de facto German ambassador to Taiwan said that Taiwan is Germany's fifth largest trading partner in Asia; on the other hand Germany is the biggest trading partner for Taiwan in the European Union.

In the field of education, the envoy said Germany has always been one of the top choices for Taiwanese students to study in Europe, with its free tuition policy and high quality education.

Currently, a record high 2,000 Taiwanese students are studying in Germany, he said, adding that he would like to see that number continue to increase.

Prinz took up the post in late July as head of the institute, the de facto German embassy in Taiwan. Before coming to Taiwan, he was Germany's ambassador to Bangladesh from 2015 to 2018.

Asked about the priorities of his tenure, Prinz said he wanted to intensify bilateral cooperation in the areas of people-to-people contact; Taiwanese students in Germany; economic cooperation, especially in the high tech sector; and energy.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel