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Taiwan, Germany hold 'milestone' meeting

TAIPEI -- Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) met with Stephan Steinlein, state secretary of Germany's Federal Foreign Office, in Berlin on Tuesday in a meeting her ministry said represented a significant “milestone.”

The two officials exchanged views on such issues as bilateral cultural exchanges, human rights, transitional justice and Taiwan-China interaction, according to Taiwan's Ministry of Culture.

It was the highest-level meeting between officials from Taiwan and Germany in many years, making it “deeply meaningful,” the ministry said.

Taiwan and Germany do not have formal diplomatic ties, making meetings between high-level government officials rare.

During their one-hour meeting, Lung called Taiwan the democracy “laboratory” of the Chinese-speaking world.

For the West to understand China, she said, Taiwan was a major key, and to understand Taiwan, one had to start with its culture.

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