The Human Rights Committee of the Bundestag is planning a trip to Taiwan for the end of October. It should be applied for at the beginning of September at the latest at the parliamentary presidency, as the German press agency learned from several members of the committee.
The trip is not a reaction to the controversial visit by US MP Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, but had been planned for some time. It is scheduled to take place between October 22nd and 30th and will go to Japan and Hong Kong in addition to Taiwan.
MEPs from all six parliamentary groups are expected to take part in the trip, probably two each from the two largest groups SPD and CDU/CSU. The delegation would thus include a total of eight parliamentarians.
Taiwan is a trading partner
Possible protests by China against the trip are no reason for the CDU human rights expert Michael Brand to refrain from doing so. "The Chinese leadership must be careful not to become just a threat-spewing dragon on the international stage. A little more Asian discipline would be appropriate," said Brand, who wants to travel with him. Among others, the FDP politician Peter Heidt and the Green politician Boris Mijatovic are to come from the coalition. Mijatovic points out that Taiwan is also an important trading partner for Germany. That's why such a trip by parliamentarians is "normal," he said.
There have also been trips by members of the Bundestag to Taiwan in the past. The Human Rights Committee last planned a trip in 2020, which was canceled due to Corona.
China regards democratic Taiwan as part of its national territory and therefore strictly rejects official contacts from other countries to Taipei. Pelosi's visit had escalated tensions with China this week. The People's Liberation Army of China announced target practice maneuvers around the island and near the coast by Sunday, designating six restricted areas.
Travel is welcomed by Taiwan
Taiwan's representative in Germany, Jhy-Wey Shieh, has suggested that a Bundestag delegation travel to his country. The background is the current tensions with China after a visit by US top politician Nancy Pelosi. "The inhibitions about traveling to Taiwan must fall," he told the "Tagesspiegel".
"I propose that a Bundestag delegation headed by the President of Parliament (Bärbel Bas) travel to Taiwan. That would not come from the parliamentary groups, but from the Bundestag as such - as an independent legislative state body that represents the people and is not subordinate to the government," said the diplomat.