China’s behaviour over Taiwan, border dispute with India concerning: German minister | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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China’s behaviour over Taiwan, border dispute with India concerning: German minister

Feb 22, 2024 06:55 PM IST

German minister of state for foreign affairs Tobias Lindner rejected the accusation that Europe is only focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

NEW DELHI: China’s behaviour in the context of Taiwan, the South China Sea and the border dispute with India is “concerning” and Beijing is “even questioning the international rules-based order”, German minister of state for foreign affairs Tobias Lindner said on Thursday.

German minister of state for foreign affairs Tobias Lindner said China was getting more and more assertive and sometimes even questioning the international rules-based order (X/FollowCII)
German minister of state for foreign affairs Tobias Lindner said China was getting more and more assertive and sometimes even questioning the international rules-based order (X/FollowCII)

Permanent members of the UN Security Council have a special responsibility to protect the global rules-based order and all disputes need to be resolved peacefully, Lindner said at an interaction with the media on the margins of the Raisina Dialogue.

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“We see that China is getting more and more assertive. It’s sometimes even questioning the international rules-based order,” he said.

“Therefore, sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries is key and what we can see with respect to Taiwan [and] the South China Sea, but also with respect to border disputes with India, that’s concerning because we are convinced that any such disputes need to be solved peacefully and with mutual consent,” he added.

The first-ever China strategy approved by the German government last year covers political, economic and security relations with the region and also focuses on working with other countries such as India, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Singapore, Lindner said.

Lindner rejected the accusation that Europe is only focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and said this issue has repercussions for the Indo-Pacific and even India in terms of food prices and energy security. “I can assure you we are aware that our own security [and] prosperity is intertwined with the security here,” he said.

Russia’s actions amount to a “blatant violation of the international rules-based order” and their implications affect everyone. “We know that Germany and India might have a different voting behaviour in the United Nations. But we share a common interest [in the] territorial integrity and sovereignty of countries,” he said.

The peace formula proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy remains the “only plan on the table right now”, and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal for ending the conflict is “similar to an unconditional surrender of Ukraine, and this is something we cannot accept”, he said.

Lindner expressed the hope that India will participate in a peace conference to be hosted by Switzerland for discussions with countries in the Indo-Pacific, Latin America and Africa to find a way out of the Ukraine war.

Germany remains a staunch supporter of Ukraine, in terms of both military backing and reconstruction of the country, but at the same time, Germany needs the entire international community and global partners such as India to “find a way out of that war”, he said.

Asked about external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s recent remarks that Russia has never harmed India’s interests, Lindner sought to draw a parallel between Germany’s efforts to end its dependence on Russian energy supplies and India’s attempts to diversify its supply chains in the wake of tensions with China.

“The lesson [of not being] too dependent on one country alone is something I believe is well understood here...That’s also a good security policy because it raises your independence and your sovereignty,” he said.

In this context, he also pointed to India’s efforts to procure military hardware such as submarines from Germany and to diversify its international ties by strengthening cooperation with the US and other countries.

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