Photo Credit: Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Reuters
Foreign Minister Joseph Wu of Taiwan fiercely opposes China and vows to defend the nation’s freedom and democracy despite more serious and dire threats from the Chinese government. When US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last week, China started acting erratically.
Following Pelosi’s travel to Taipei last week, China declared that it would conduct military exercises and other operations all throughout the nation in response. Pelosi is now away, but the drills are still ongoing, which prompted the minister to make a statement of defiance against the superpower.
“China has always been threatening Taiwan for years, and it’s getting more serious in the last few years. Whether Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan or not, the Chinese military threat against Taiwan has always been there, and that is the fact that we need to deal with,” the minister said.
Wu maintained that Taiwan was glad to have the US House Speaker visit since China had consistently prevented Taiwan from deepening its relationships with other nations. Wu claimed that after years of China’s attempts to isolate Taiwan from the rest of the world, Taiwan has decided to go against the country’s dominance, despite the potential consequences.
“(China) cannot dictate to Taiwan that we should not welcome anyone who likes to come and show support for Taiwan,” added Minister Wu.
China opposed Pelosi’s visitation
Pelosi’s intent to travel to Taiwan has long been contested by the Chinese government. Pelosi visited Taiwan and spoke with the country’s legislators despite the warnings China had issued, along with other officials and personnel.
Pelosi’s trip marks the first time in 25 years that a senior US incumbent official has visited the nation.
China indicated that military maneuvers would start in the area of Taiwan as Pelosi arrived in Taipei. The drills, which were supposed to conclude on Sunday, have been going on for a long time, according to experts, who said that they have been completed “closer than before.”
Taiwan residents maintained their composure throughout the military exercises. The economy and Taiwanese society went about their regularly scheduled business.
Wu remarked that the threat from China simply contributed to push the administration of the nation to reinforce its ties with other countries and demonstrate that it is not intimidated by China’s incitement of fear.
“I worry that China may really launch a war against Taiwan,” the official said. “But what it is doing right now is trying to scare us, and the best way to deal with it (is) to show to China that we are not scared.”
Pelosi’s activities in Taiwan
Wu said that they were astounded because Pelosi’s visit was unexpected and on short notice.
The minister added, “Since her travel is always subject to a lot of considerations, especially security considerations … we were not able to find out until the very last moment when she firmed up her plan.”
Pelosi first visited Taiwan’s president, where she spoke with Tsai Ing-wen for a while. Pelosi then met with Taiwan’s legislators and discussed many state problems, which Wu declined to reveal. Pelosi told the Taiwanese president that the “US stands with Taiwan.”
Wu recalls that when the Speaker arrived at the airport and told the Taiwanese officers who were there to greet her that she had been anticipating the visit for a while, the people astounded her with her charm.
“And by the time she departed, she not only said goodbye to me, but also said goodbye to the ground crew, the security people, and to those people who had been taking care of the airport, one by one,” minister Wu recollected.
Wu also said Taiwan’s policies and decisions have long received US support. However, the minister noted that the support this time was “unprecedented.”
Opinions expressed by US Insider contributors are their own.