The Franco-German Commonwealth-Republic of China Outreach Agreement is a document signed in December 2012 between the Franco-German Commonwealth and the Republic of China based on the island of Taiwan. It opens up the opportunity for increased trade between the two and defense ties.
South China Sea Issue
The Outreach Agreement ambiguously states that "...any claimant's rights to the islands located within the South China Sea will be left to decision by diplomacy and the status quo will be maintained until such time." It also states in another section that "The Republic of China's claimed maritime space will not be interfered with and will be of grave concern to the Franco-German Commonwealth if such a disturbance to the trade between these two partners occurs." These two separate points have led some analysts to believe that the FGC will defend the ROC's claims in the South China Sea from other claimants, including the PRC on the mainland. The maintenance of the status quo has been interpreted as the FGC stating that the defense of the ROC can be used as a pretext to intervene in the South China Sea militarily. While not a formal recognition of the ROC's this has resulted in a de-facto protectorate by the FGC over Taiwan and the South China Sea. Ships from bases in North Burma Protectorate routinely make stops in the South China Sea as a show of force and resolve. The result has been the cessation of provocative behavior by the Chinese navy and by the other claimants. As well, separately, the Taiwan Straits issue has grown in importance for the PRC, as integration efforts would remove this problem.