Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu said Taiwan is committed to advancing its self-defense capabilities even as it urges democracies worldwide to unify in opposition to China’s aggression.
Wu made the remarks during an interview Sept. 5 in Taipei City with Erin Hale for an article titled “Q&A: Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu talks elections and China.” It was published Sept. 13 on Qatar-based news outlet Al Jazeera’s website.
Experience shows that China’s attempts to interfere in Taiwan’s elections have a tendency to backfire, the minister said. With Taiwan’s presidential polls scheduled for January, Wu added that the government doesn’t expect major action from China in response to the electorate’s decision, though it doesn’t rule out the possibility that Beijing could resort to military exercises if it is displeased with the result.
Wu said given Taiwan’s strategic position, a Chinese assault on the country would have disastrous economic impact throughout the world, citing the volume of global cargo that passes through the Taiwan Strait, along with the fact that more than 90 percent of the world’s advanced semiconductor chips are produced in Taiwan.
On the topic of more positive relationships, the minister said Taiwan treasures its diplomatic allies and is proud of the direct assistance it offers them, in contrast to China’s flamboyant but hollow promises. The country is further strengthening relationship with like-minded partners, Wu said, noting the opening of direct flights between Taipei and Prague as well as Taiwan’s collaborations with Central and Eastern European countries like Czechia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia to help Ukrainians affected by the war.
Taiwan is also working with closer neighbors like Japan to continue deepening cooperations between parliaments and ruling parties, as evidenced by the two-plus-two meetings on security and the economy held in 2021, Wu said. Last year Japan also revised their national security documents to double the military budget and fortify islands near Taiwan as part of the global effort to prevent China from using force against Taiwan, he added.
Other exciting achievements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in recent years have included the establishment of regional offices in Milan; Montreal; India’s largest city, Mumbai; and Provence in southern France, the minister said. (YCH-E)
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