Germany’s Minister of Education to travel to Taiwan next week

Archive – Germany’s Minister of Education Bettina Stark-Watzinger. – Christophe Gateau/dpa

German Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger said Friday that she will visit Taiwan next week in what will be the first trip to the island by a member of the German Cabinet since 1997.

The Ministry said in a statement that the minister will visit Taiwan between Monday and Wednesday next week with the aim of »strengthening and expanding cooperation in science, research and education».

»Taiwan is a high-tech location and a world leader in the development and production of semiconductors in particular,» the statement said. The minister is scheduled to meet with government representatives in Taipei.

The last high-ranking German official to visit the island was Gunter Rexrodt, former Minister of Economics. In autumn, two delegations from the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, visited the island, which provoked criticism from Beijing.

According to the German Ministry of Education, Stark-Watzinger’s trip will take place within the framework of the current »one China» policy of the European Union (EU) and the German government, words with which she seeks to reassure the Chinese government.