German Education and Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (middle) and Kai Gehring (left), chairman of the German Parliament Educational Research Committee, visited Taiwan from 21 to 22. Today, the German Association in Taiwan held a press conference meeting.

On the right is Xu Youge, the representative of Germany in Taiwan.

(Photographed by reporter Lu Yixuan)

[Reporter Lu Yixuan/Taipei Report] German Federal Minister of Education and Research Stark-Wattersinger is the ministerial official from Germany who has visited Taiwan for the first time in 26 years. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly protests this.

Stark-Watersinger said today that this is a professional visit with long preparations and a transparent process. Taiwan is a partner with similar values. This visit is also in line with Germany's one-China policy.

She also believes that ministerial officials visiting Taiwan will become the norm in the future, "There are so many opportunities for cooperation with Taiwan, we won't wait so long!"

Stark-Watzinger (Bettina Stark-Watzinger) and Kai Gehring (Kai Gehring), chairman of the German Parliament Education Research Committee, visited Taiwan from 21 to 22. During the visit, they met Wu Zhengzhong, chairman of the National Science Council, Pan Wenzhong, Minister of Education, and Minister of Digital Development Tang Feng, in addition to visiting official ministries, also visited Confucius Temple, Hsinchu Science Park, think tanks, universities and vocational schools.

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Regarding the visit of German ministerial officials to Taiwan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin strongly stated that China has lodged a strong protest with Germany for "her despicable behavior".

Wang Wenbin also said that Germany should "immediately stop dealing with Taiwan independence separatist forces, immediately stop sending wrong signals to Taiwan independence separatist forces, and immediately stop using the Taiwan issue to interfere in China's internal affairs."

The German delegation will leave Taiwan tonight and hold a press conference at the German Association in Taiwan in the afternoon.

Stark-Wattsinger shared that the focus of this visit to Taiwan includes semiconductors, green economy, battery technology, talent cultivation, exchanges between scientists and young researchers, Chinese learning, etc., as well as the role of artificial intelligence in society.

During the meeting, the media kept asking the visiting group about their views on China's dissatisfaction with China. Will they worry about retaliation and sanctions?

Stark-Watersinger responded that she understands that because no ministerial officials have come to Taiwan for 26 years, this visit will receive special attention.

But in fact, this visit to Taiwan is in line with Germany's one-China policy. I came to Taiwan because Taiwan is a potential technological partner. This is a professional visit. The Ministry of Education and Research hopes to cooperate and exchange with Taiwan's departments in the same professional field. Communication is the norm.

Stark-Watersinger pointed out that the Ministry of Education and Research has been preparing for this trip for a long time and the process was transparent. "This is not a particularly surprising thing."

Taiwan and Germany face similar challenges, including issues such as semiconductor supply chains, talent cultivation, and energy. "It is only natural to work closely with Taiwan, a partner with similar values."

The media also asked who might be the next German minister to visit Taiwan?

Or do we have to wait another 25 years?

Stark-Watersinger replied that each minister is most aware of the potential of cooperation with Taiwan in the field of responsibility, and the ministers themselves can decide whether to visit or not.

But she thinks "it won't be that long". At least in the education and research she is in charge of, there are so many opportunities for cooperation with Taiwan. To discuss cooperation, "I don't think (the next minister) will wait so long. Ministerial officials' visits to Taiwan will be the norm in the future."

In the face of China's jump, Geering said that he believes that the German government and most members of the parliament have reached a consensus, that is, Germany should cooperate with partners around the world to promote scientific development, including inter-governmental cooperation and inter-parliamentary cooperation.

It is important to us that Taiwan is a partner with similar values.

He was very happy to accompany the Minister to visit this time, and exchanged many topics that are also important in Germany, such as how to find a balance between the freedom of creativity in science and the protection of privacy, etc. He gained a lot from the discussions and exchanges.