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German politician urges naval passage through Taiwan Strait

German Parliament Defense Committee chair says Taiwan Strait voyage symbolizes freedom of navigation

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German Parliament Defense Committee Chairperson Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (Facebook, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann  photo)

German Parliament Defense Committee Chairperson Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (Facebook, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann  photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The German Navy should conduct a Taiwan Strait passage, said German Parliament Defense Committee Chair Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann during an academic seminar on Tuesday (Jan. 25).

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation, a Liberal Democratic Party think tank, held an academic seminar on Tuesday to discuss the significance and results of the German Navy frigate Bayern's voyage last summer, CNA reported.

The Brandenburg-class frigate sailed to Asia in August to conduct joint exercises with Australia, the U.S., Japan, and other countries as part of Germany’s focus on freedom of navigation in the Indian and Pacific oceans. It also helped the UN monitor military developments in North Korea as well as visited Singapore and Vietnam.

During the seminar, Zimmerman said that Germany's foreign trade is dependent on the sea, and deploying warships symbolizes Germany's determination to defend freedom of navigation. German Navy vessels had not been to Asia for 20 years, she said, adding that the Bayern was welcomed by all the countries it visited.

The experience gained throughout its voyage can be used as a reference for its next mission, she said.

However, Zimmermann lamented the fact that the Bayern had avoided Taiwan after completing its mission in Northeast Asia. She mentioned that Taiwan's democracy is under threat and said German Navy ships should pass through the strait to highlight the significance of freedom of navigation.

The move would also send a signal to Beijing that the West stands with Taiwan, she added.