There is great concern that China will launch a war of aggression against Taiwan. The topic has long since reached German politics – because Taiwan plays an important role in our economy.

What the threat of a war of aggression by the People’s Republic of China would do to neighboring, democratic Taiwan is now also occupying German politics. The FDP foreign politician Alexander Graf Lambsdorff rightly pointed out that the semiconductors essential for chip production of all kinds are produced on the island.

A third of world production is in Taiwan. Should this production be interrupted by bombs on Taipei, there would be unforeseen consequences, also for the German economy, according to Lambsdorff.

Now save articles for later in “Pocket”.

Taiwan is the fifth largest trading partner of Germany and also of the European Union. In addition to this economic component, the countries of Europe, Germany and Taiwan, are linked by a common understanding of values: a legal system based on human dignity and the resulting human rights.

Taiwan is number 8 in the global democracy index, and even number 1 in Asia. This means that Germany and the European Union can also learn from Taiwan how democracy works today, under digital auspices – and how it can improve can.

Ten million of the 23 million inhabitants of the democratic island are taking part in a hack-a-thon in which the Taiwanese are called upon to criticize their political leadership and make suggestions for improvement.

Alexander Görlach is a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York. The PhD linguist and theologian teaches democratic theory in Germany, Austria and Spain as an honorary professor at Leuphana University. In the 2017-18 academic year, he was at National Taiwan University and City University Hong Kong to conduct research on China’s rise. He is currently researching new technologies at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute and how they are used in democracies and abused in dictatorships.

Surf tip: You can find all the news about the corona pandemic in the FOCUS Online news ticker

It is precisely this free way of life in Taiwan that is a thorn in Xi’s side. He brought China into line and transformed it into a fascist dictatorship. In the fall, he wants to be proclaimed president a third time, thereby opening the door to lifelong rule.

Actually, only ten years of office were allowed in China due to the terrible experiences with Mao, who killed around 50 million people. Critics on the Chinese Internet call the people’s republic that has been brought into line “West Korea”. So life in the high-tech country of China doesn’t really differ from that in the Stone Age dictatorship next door.

Xi has vowed to “reunite” what he calls Taiwan with China. Taiwan was never part of the People’s Republic. Now he has to deliver. The announced visit of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, could be a good opportunity for Xi to start a war.

Beijing is trying to prevent female politicians from visiting Taiwan. August has begun and German politicians understand, actually atypically, that they no longer have time to adequately prepare for the start of the war.

If the gas crisis turns into an electricity crisis in this country, which could then lead to a partial standstill of the entire German economy (the chips mentioned are also installed in cars), then things will get more than tight.

Germany is at the beginning of a recession, inflation is noticeable everywhere. The consequences of the Ukraine war are palpable. As a citizen, you might not want to imagine the force of the blow that another war would unleash, but every politician has to.

Short-sightedness and greed have made Germany dependent on Russia. Federal governments with SPD participation or under the leadership of the Social Democrats have forced, expanded and cemented this dependency without there being any objection from the Union.

Dependence on China is broader than energy dependency on Russia. Ruler Xi will therefore think longer than Putin about the consequences of a campaign that violates international law.

At the same time, all experts agree that this war will begin. Ms. Pelosi is expected in Taiwan from Tuesday to Wednesday. The world is holding its breath: Should the Chinese air force attack the military aircraft that is taking Ms. Pelosi to Taipei, the war scenario will become a sad reality faster than politicians in Germany can prepare for it.

The future of the world, as presidents and popes alike have been repeating for decades, lies in Asia. Little Taiwan is the heart of the continent that shows how a great and free Asia can become the center of the world in this century. Taiwan has democratic allies in the region in Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Xi’s strategy is to first subjugate the countries of East Asia (his country currently has a whopping 17 conflicts over borders and territories with its neighbors) and from there turn the world order upside down.

A war over Taiwan is therefore not a battle over chips, but the fight for freedom, including ours here in Germany. The ancients said “ut Roma cadit, mundus cadit”, “If Rome falls, the whole world falls”. The same is true of Taiwan today.