TAIPEI, Taiwan (JTA) — A German lawmaker heard ominous echoes of Nazi Germany after a Chinese state-run media outlet threatened violence in calling for a “final solution to the Taiwan question.”
Frank Müller-Rosentritt, a member of German parliament and its foreign affairs committee, compared the terminology to the Nazis’ “final solution to the Jewish question,” its plan for the mass murder of Jews.
“If a Chinese propaganda medium operates with historically loaded terms, then all alarm bells should ring for us against the background of our history,” Müller-Rosentritt told the German news organization Welt on Saturday.
China’s Global Times published an article in English last week warning that it will take action to occupy Taiwan and used the “final solution” language in a tweet.
The Nazis often talked about how to deal with Europe’s Jews in terms of resolving what they called the “Jewish question,” and it embarked on the Holocaust seeking what they called a “final solution.”
Alexander Pevzner, founding director of Israel’s Chinese Media Center, noted that the Global Times does not represent the Chinese government and often uses “inflammatory rhetoric,” adding that the choice of words was likely due to ignorance.
Israel cultivated closer ties with China for years under former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who worked to dramatically expand trade with the Communist powerhouse.
The People’s Republic of China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has promised to “unify” the two, though the PRC has never governed Taiwan. Tensions intensified earlier this month as China sent a record number of warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. Some experts say the latest air incursions have been in response to the growing international support, including from the E.U., for Taiwan’s independence.