Germany’s Taiwan Policy

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During her visit to Taipei on January 11, 2023, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, Chairman of the German Parliamentary Defense Committee and a member of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the coalition partner of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, stated that her country will not supply Taiwan with weapons; because he said that the situation is different from Ukraine’s.[1] This statement was the last example of Germany’s long-standing diverging policies from Europe on the Taiwan Question. While the whole of Europe is trying to limit economic relations with China; The Berlin administration’s granting of new shares to Chinese companies in the Port of Hamburg has been heavily criticized. Moreover, Scholz’s departure to Beijing in November 2022 further inflamed the debates within Europe.

It is seen that Germany differs sharply from the Western powers in its Chinese policy. In addition to economic factors, geopolitical factors such as the Anglo-Saxons’ search for hegemony and Eurasia’s opposition to it are effective here. In other words, Germany opposes the Taiwan policy of the United States (US)-England duo, citing its economic dependence on China. Because Berlin claims that what happened in the Russia-Ukraine War in the recent past will be repeated.[2]

Germany thinks that it was drawn into the war in Ukraine by the UK and the USA in 2022. As a matter of fact, in the summer of 2022, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said, “We will not provide any more weapons aid to Ukraine.” explanation as,[3] In a sense, it is a symbol of awakening. As a Eurasian country, Germany is trying to get rid of this crisis in Ukraine and prevent a new crisis in Taiwan. Lambrecht, who is against arming Ukraine, recently announced his resignation.[4] Apparently; The Berlin Government is under the pressure of the USA-England in both the Russia-Ukraine War and the China-Taiwan Issue.

The goal of the Berlin administration is to prevent the emergence of new crises in the world. In this direction, Scholz went to Beijing and said that he was against polarization and emphasized multipolarity. Germany is one of the states that suffered the most from the crisis in Ukraine. In fact, this is the war of England and the USA against Germany, and the actors in Continental Europe, Germany and Eurasia in general suffer the most from this.

To remind you, Berlin ended its energy cooperation with Russia due to the war in Ukraine and suffered great economic damage from it. Therefore, Berlin is making an effort not to make the same mistake in Taiwan and China. Those who advocate the military support of Taiwan are London and Washington. Continental Europe, on the other hand, does not want to be dragged into another war after Ukraine. This is why Germany refrains from supporting Taiwan militarily.

Ukraine has been a rehearsal for the US-England duo. In Taiwan, a larger game is being set up today. Indeed, fortifying Taiwan militarily will set it against China, and war will become inevitable after a point. Germany is trying to maintain its dialogue with China and Taiwan in a peaceful way because it sees this game of actors who want to collapse it economically.

To remind you, on August 2, 2022, the day the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan, there was a concern that China might attack Taiwan. There was even talk that China might shoot down Pelosi’s plane. In this process, when the possibility of war reached its peak, Germany tried to deter China by implying that it could support the USA if necessary.[5] In this context, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said, “We do not accept that international law is violated and that a larger neighbor violates international law and attacks its smaller neighbor. This of course also applies to China.” he said.[6] This attitude is aimed at preventing a war from breaking out in Taiwan. Because one day after the visit; that is, with the reduction of the risk of war, Germany called for de-escalation in the Taiwan Strait and emphasized that it adheres to the “One China Principle”.[7]

Germany takes a stand against whichever pole dares to fight. If China commits aggression, it will support the US stance. However, if the US and the UK want to deepen the crisis, they will also take a stand against it. But it is not correct to say that Germany fully supports China. Because he is against Beijing following an “aggressive” policy. For example, Scholz stated during his Beijing visit that the status quo change in Taiwan should happen peacefully.[8] Therefore, Germany is against China’s use of military force against Taiwan.

In fact, the Berlin administration always benefits from the potential for cooperation between Moscow and Beijing. Because the polarization in the world is experienced between the USA-England duo and the Eurasian powers. Although the Russian-Chinese union seems to be against Western hegemony, the real challenge is for the USA-England duo. Continental Europe, which is a part of Eurasia, suffers the most from this competition. Germany is the protector of Continental Europe.

As it can be understood, the Berlin administration wants to be positioned as a mediator between the parties. It is also possible to call this a balance policy. The German Chancellor Klemens Von Metternich, who named the balance of power system in the 19th century, even risked using his war power to protect the status quo in Europe. Today, Germany is trying to preserve the international status quo by peaceful means. But the biggest threats to the international order come from the actors who have veto power in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Germany has no such power. Therefore, it lacks the power to deter these actors. Therefore, the Berlin administration will not be very effective in changing the fate of Taiwan.

If the US wants to punish Europe, and especially Germany, with a new crisis, it can easily do so with the war in Taiwan. There is no way Germany can stop the United States on this issue. But Berlin’s most important trump card is Beijing. If Germany can persuade China, they can cooperate in Eurasia together. With the inclusion of Russia in this, a great axis can be established in Eurasia. The United States sees this danger. But Germany and China also saw the “trap set by the USA”. Therefore, it is time to convince Russia. If China and Germany succeed in deterring Russia from war, it would be a major failure for the United States. But then the USA will want to punish these actors by fueling the war in Taiwan. Therefore, the peace and security of the world will largely depend on cooperation on the Berlin-Beijing-Moscow line.

[1] “Germany Will Not Arm Taiwan, Senior Lawmaker Says”, US News,, (Date of Accesiion: 16.01.2023).

[2] “German Chancellor’s Party Warns of Breakdown in China Ties Over Taiwan”, Anadolu Agency,, (Date of Accesiion: 16.01.2023).

[3] “Almanya Savunma Bakanı: Ukrayna’ya Daha Fazla Silah Yardımında Bulunmayacağız”, NTV,,lDyrZfDzp0mr-zqBfulkHQ, (Date of Accesiion: 16.01.2023).

[4] “Almanya Savunma Bakanı Lambrecht İstifasını Sundu”, Deutche Welle,, (Date of Accesiion: 16.01.2023).

[5] “Germany Promises to Help Taiwan If China Attacks”, Russia Today,, (Date of Accesiion: 16.01.2023).

[6] “China Issues Threatening Warning to Germany After Support for US Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan”, Express,, (Date of Accesiion: 16.01.2023).

[7] “Germany Calls for De-Escalation in Taiwan Strait”, Anadolu Agency,, (Date of Accesiion: 16.01.2023).

[8] “Germany’s Scholz Tells China: Any Change in Taiwan’s Status Quo Must Be Peaceful”, US News,, (Date of Accesiion: 16.01.2023).

Dr. Cenk TAMER
Dr. Cenk Tamer, 2014 yılında Sakarya Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nden mezun olmuştur. Aynı yıl Gazi Üniversitesi Ortadoğu ve Afrika Çalışmaları Bilim Dalı’nda yüksek lisans eğitimine başlamıştır. 2016 yılında “1990 Sonrası İran’ın Irak Politikası” başlıklı teziyle master eğitimini tamamlayan Tamer, 2017 yılında ANKASAM’da Araştırma Asistanı olarak göreve başlamış ve aynı yıl Gazi Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Doktora Programı’na kabul edilmiştir. Uzmanlık alanları İran, Mezhepler, Tasavvuf, Mehdilik, Kimlik Siyaseti ve Asya-Pasifik olan ve iyi derecede İngilizce bilen Tamer, Gazi Üniversitesindeki doktora eğitimini “Sosyal İnşacılık Teorisi ve Güvenlikleştirme Yaklaşımı Çerçevesinde İran İslam Cumhuriyeti’nde Kimlik İnşası Süreci ve Mehdilik” adlı tez çalışmasıyla 2022 yılında tamamlamıştır. Şu anda ise ANKASAM’da Asya-Pasifik Uzmanı olarak görev almaktadır.