A delegation of several German lawmakers arrived Sunday in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, amid rising tensions with China in the region.
The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry has indicated that this is the first official delegation from Germany to visit Taiwan since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upon the group’s arrival at Taoyuan International Airport, Taiwanese Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Tah-ray Yui welcomed the Berlin-Taipei Parliamentary Friendship Group to the German Bundestag.
“Vice Minister Yui warmly welcomed the first post-pandemic German delegation. We wish the chairman of the Bundestag’s Taiwan friendship group Klaus-Peter Willsch and the five vice-chairmen of their respective political parties a fruitful five-day visit,” the ministerial portfolio posted on the social network Twitter.
The group will remain in the Asian country until Thursday. Willsch and his companions will meet with the island’s President Tsai Ing Wen, Vice President Lai Ching Te, Parliament Speaker You Si Kun, Foreign Minister Joseph Wy, and Taiwanese lawmakers and representatives from different institutions to discuss national security.
In addition, the delegation will visit a science park to boost bilateral trade in technology and supply chain security.
The German delegation is the second official visit by a European country–the first was France in early September–since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taipei in early August. Pelosi’s trip generated tensions with China, which conducted large-scale military exercises.
Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the island part of its territory and opposes any form of official contact between Taiwan and other countries.