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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Foreign Minister Wu delivers address at ICDS in Estonia

Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu delivered a speech at the International Center for Defense and Security Nov. 8 in Estonia, urging members of the free world to stand with Taiwan in deterring China’s authoritarian threats.
In his speech titled “Taiwan and Estonia: A Partnership for Peace and Democracy,” Wu said despite the geographic distance, the two countries share similar history, became democracies at around the same time and both currently face authoritarian neighbors.
Like Estonia, Taiwan has shown unwavering support for Ukraine, by cooperating with European governments and NGO partners, such as the Estonian Refugee Council, to provide assistance and financial contributions of over US$100 million to displaced Ukrainians, Wu added.
Wu said China is increasing threats and economic coercion against Taiwan through hybrid warfare such as disinformation campaigns and gray zone tactics. However, he noted, Chinese ambition does not stop at Taiwan but extends well beyond the First Island Chain.
Examples in this regard include the China security agreement signed with the Solomon Islands in April, the “string of pearls” strategy to secure ports in the Indian Ocean for future military use and attempts to gain access to the Artic region through seemingly benign motives, the minister said.
Wu said members of the democratic community such as Australia, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. have taken notice of the developments and are reviving old alliances and forming new coalitions to counter China’s expansionism. The EU leaders’ summit in late June and G7 Leaders’ Statement in May both expressed support for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, he added.
As around 50 percent of global cargo passes through the strait and more than 60 percent of the world’s advanced semiconductors are produced in Taiwan, Wu said any conflict in the region will severely impact the global economy. He added that international concern over China’s attempts to change the status quo is very effective in keeping its aggression at bay.
Facing these security challenges, Taiwan is working tirelessly with its partners to strengthen self-defense capabilities and develop asymmetric strategies, Wu said. At the same time, he said the government is willing to enter dialogue with China on an equal footing to settle differences and seek opportunities for peaceful coexistence.
The minister took the opportunity to thank Estonia for voicing support for Taiwan and said the government remains committed to deepening ties with its like-minded partners in every possible aspect to safeguard shared values and a democratic way of life. (SFC-E)
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