Taipei, Taiwan

China’s risk to Taiwan is “extra severe than ever”, however the island will stay decided to defend its freedom and democracy – together with welcoming those that help it, Taiwan’s Overseas Minister Joseph Wu mentioned in an interview on Monday. I informed CNN.

Wu’s defiant message got here as China mentioned it continued navy workout routines across the self-governing island after a four-day demonstration of pressure following US Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s go to to Taipei final week.

“China has all the time threatened Taiwan for years, and it has gotten extra severe in the previous few years,” Wu mentioned. “Whether or not Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan or not, there has all the time been a Chinese language navy risk in opposition to Taiwan and this can be a indisputable fact that we have to cope with.”

Welcoming international mates to the island was an essential a part of Taiwan’s technique to counter efforts to isolate China from the worldwide group. — no matter a doable backlash from Beijing, Wu mentioned.

Wu, who has served as Taiwan’s international minister since 2018, mentioned, “(China) can not instruct Taiwan that we should always not welcome anybody who chooses to come back and present help for Taiwan. ”

Pelosi’s go to to Taiwan – the primary by a sitting Home speaker to the island in 25 years – was strongly opposed by China’s ruling Communist Celebration, which considers Taiwan as its personal territory regardless of by no means having managed it. sees.

Within the wake of Pelosi’s go to, Beijing has elevated stress on Taiwan, together with financial penalties, the launch of missiles on the island for the primary time, and workout routines that Taipei has mentioned had been meant to “simulate” an assault in opposition to its important island. was. and Navy.

Though these workout routines had been anticipated to finish on Sunday, drills round Taiwan continued on Monday, in keeping with an announcement by the Chinese language navy.

However because the live-fire drills raised world fears of a doable navy battle, the temper in Taiwan remained calm, with life occurring as ordinary with overcrowded eating places and overcrowded public transport.

For Wu, the risk made it much more essential that Taiwan proceed to construct its worldwide relations and present that it’s not afraid.

“I fear that China may really begin a battle in opposition to Taiwan,” he mentioned. “However what he’s doing proper now could be making an attempt to scare us and the easiest way to cope with that is to indicate China that we aren’t scared.”

Wu mentioned that though his go to was lengthy and far talked about, Taiwanese officers obtained little discover of his arrival.

“Since her journey is all the time topic to numerous consideration, particularly for safety causes… we weren’t capable of finding out till the final second when she solidified her plan,” Wu mentioned. However its not the fitting time to come back.

Visits by the speaker and an accompanying congressional delegation included conferences in Taiwan’s legislature and the workplace of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, the place Pelosi mentioned they’d come to ship a “clear message” that “the US stands with Taiwan.” ”

Wu mentioned her most memorable impression of the journey was greeting Pelosi and the delegation on the airport, the place she “confirmed her allure” by saying that she had lengthy been trying ahead to their go to.

“And by the point she left, she not solely mentioned goodbye to me, but in addition to the bottom crew, the safety folks, and the individuals who had been taking care of the airport one after the other,” Wu mentioned.

Requested whether or not america would enhance its help for Taiwan after the go to, Wu mentioned the US has all the time been “extraordinarily supportive” of Taiwan – however the present help was “unprecedented”.

In an unique interview with CNN final October, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen confirmed that some US navy trainers had been in Taiwan – the primary time a Taiwanese chief had acknowledged his presence since Washington and Taipei held diplomatic relations in 1979. Relations had been damaged.

However perceptions of US help have led to Beijing’s outrage in opposition to the speaker’s go to, with China’s international ministry issuing a press release on the heels of Pelosi’s arrival on Tuesday night, saying his go to was a “political facet of China-US relations”. severe affect on the inspiration” and “severely undermine peace and stability within the Taiwan Strait.”

Quickly after Pelosi’s arrival, Beijing introduced an enormous navy train in six areas across the island of Taiwan, seen as a violation of China’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Whereas the US and lots of of its allies have condemned the train, China defended its actions as “professional and applicable”, saying it was the US, not China, that was “the best destroyer of peace within the Taiwan Strait”. and destabilizing”. China claims “sovereign authority and jurisdiction”.

Taiwan and China have been ruled individually for the reason that finish of a civil battle greater than seven a long time in the past during which defeated nationalists fled to Taipei. Taiwan transitioned from authoritarian rule to democracy within the Nineties, and is now ranked one of many freest jurisdictions in Asia by Freedom Home, a US-based non-profit group.

In recent times, as his energy has grown, Chinese language chief Xi Jinping has made clear his ambitions to “reunite” with the island – if mandatory, by pressure.

Wu accused China of making an attempt to alter the established order within the Taiwan Strait, which in latest days has included conducting navy workout routines throughout the midline – the midway level between the island and mainland China that was beforehand a casual however largely There was a revered restrict of management. Beijing and Taipei.

Dozens of Chinese language warplanes crossed the midline between Thursday and Sunday, in keeping with accounts by Taiwan’s Protection Ministry. Whereas the casual center line has stored peace within the Taiwan Strait for many years, China now brazenly denies its existence.

A military aircraft takes off from a Taiwan airport in Hualien for an air patrol operation on August 7.

“This sort of habits is ruining the established order, and it’s ruining peace and stability within the area and shouldn’t be accepted,” Wu mentioned, including that China has closed the Taiwan Strait for “someday” as its personal. declared as inner water. Earlier than Pelosi’s go to.

Wu mentioned this had implications past Taiwan as China seeks to broaden its affect within the western Pacific. However he mentioned he stays optimistic concerning the future.

“Democracy will win,” he mentioned. “When you have a look at authoritarianism, it’s not resilient. It could seem sturdy, and it could appear to be increasing. However it’s not resilient and goes to interrupt sooner or later.”

Requested whether or not the state of affairs may be known as a disaster, Wu mentioned it’s finally as much as Beijing.

“It’s as much as the needs of the Chinese language leaders whether or not they wish to pursue relations with Taiwan in a peaceable and secure method.”

Wu mentioned he didn’t know whether or not Chinese language leaders had “made up their thoughts” to make use of pressure to take over Taiwan, however that Taiwanese officers had been ” a number of totally different eventualities”, notably on this regard. Considerations that Beijing might attempt to divert consideration from home issues by making a disaster within the Taiwan Strait.

“The essential factor for us is that we have to be ready,” Wu mentioned. “We wish to shield the liberty and democracy we get pleasure from right here. Nobody can take it away from us.”

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