Issued on: 16/09/2020 – 13:40Modified: 16/09/2020 – 13:50
In an interview with FRANCE 24, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu warned that China was ramping up its military pressure and that the threat of a military intervention against Taiwan had “intensified”. Wu said that after China’s crackdown in Hong Kong, “Taiwan might be next”.
Wu pointed to recent military drills by China as evidence that Beijing was eager to fulfill the commitment of President Xi Jinping to “reunify” China by taking control of Taiwan. He said Taiwan was beefing up its military in order to respond to the threat and welcomed US moves to warn China against using military force. He also said that the potential for an accidental war with China was escalating.
Wu hailed the recent visit by United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to Taiwan – the highest-level visit on the island by a US official since 1979 – as a watershed moment and indicated that further visits by senior US officials to discuss trade issues could be on the horizon. However, he refused to confirm such a visit by US Under Secretary of State Keith Krach in the coming days.
The Taiwanese foreign minister said the mood in the European Union via-à-vis China and Taiwan was “changing”, stressing that China’s expansionist moves in the South China Sea, at the border with India and in Hong Kong had changed the perception.
Wu refused to confirm that five Hong Kong activists who had fled were now in Taiwan, stressing that there was a mechanism in place to deal with such cases.
He urged the world to stand more forcefully by Taiwan, which he described as a “frontline” democracy fighting an authoritarian regime. He warned that after China’s crackdown in Hong Kong, “Taiwan might be next”.