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German minister makes 1st trip to Taiwan in 26 years, signs agreement

German minister makes 1st trip to Taiwan in 26 years, signs agreement
It is 1st time since 1997 that any federal minister from Germany has visited island nation

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) – Germany and Taiwan on Wednesday signed a scientific and technological cooperation arrangement in the education sector.

Germany’s Minister for Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger witnessed the signing ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital.

Stark-Watzinger is the first German minister to visit the island nation of 24 million people in 26 years. Guenter Rexrodt, then Germany's Economics Minister, visited Taiwan in 1997.

“Taiwan is a highly esteemed collaborative partner of Germany,” Stark-Watzinger said as her ministry signed the agreement with Taiwan’s National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).

Stark-Watzinger said Germany and Taiwan “value democracy, transparency, openness, and freedom,” said a statement released by the NSTC.

She hoped that the newly signed cooperation agreement would help the two sides "pave the way for even broader cooperation in the future."

Taiwan’s NSTC Minister Tsung-tsong Wu said “official exchanges have helped solve some of the world’s toughest issues, which includes recently partnering with the international community to fight the once-in-a-generation COVID-19 pandemic.”

The two sides will enhance their cooperation in areas such as artificial intelligence applications, semiconductors, integrated circuit or IC design, automobile, hydrogen energy, and education, specifically learning Chinese.

Taiwan is a "high-tech location and valued partner," said the German minister, who arrived in Taipei with a 14-member delegation for two days.

The "scientific and technological cooperation arrangement" was signed by Jorg Polster, director general of the German Institute Taipei, and Shieh Jhy-wey, Taiwan's envoy to Berlin.

Stark-Watzinger is in Taiwan at the invitation of Wu, who was in Berlin last November.

“Technological research and development in Germany and Taiwan complemented each other,” said Wu.

source: News Feed
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