Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu says that Taiwan needs to prepare for war with China.
The situation between Taiwan and China is growing even more tense as China flexes its naval might in the South China Sea, and Taiwan is aware of a potential impending conflict with its neighbour. Communist China, which does not recognize the sovereignty of Taiwan, seeks to “unify” the independent island nation under its regime.
Speaking to CNN on Thursday, Wu said that it is in Taiwan’s interests to take China’s threats seriously and treat the communist country’s military exercises as a show of force.
“As Taiwan decision-makers, we cannot take any chances, we have to be prepared. When the Chinese government is saying they would not renounce the use of force, and they conduct military exercises around Taiwan, we would rather believe that it is real,” said Wu.
CNN correspondent Will Ripley tweeted a portion of Wu’s interview, highlighting Wu’s remarks on Taiwan’s need to prepare itself for war.
During the interview, Wu expressed his belief that China is trying to “unify Taiwan” through peaceful means, if possible, but that it is willing to resort to military force if it cannot get what it wants.
Taiwan stands in a precarious position on the world stage as many countries, including the United States, have officially recognized mainland China’s claims of sovereignty since 1979 through its so-called “One China Policy.” However, the U.S. has also maintained a practice of ambiguity by recognizing Taiwanese leaders and politicians in trade and military agreements.
Wu said that the people of Taiwan hope that China does not enter into armed conflict with the nation.
“We hope it doesn’t happen,” he said. “A war between Taiwan and China is in nobody’s interest. The important thing is that Taiwan is a symbol of democracy, and Taiwan is a high symbol of democracy at a time when China is trying to expand its authoritarian influence. Taiwan is on the front line.”
China has shown aggression against its sovereign neighbour by flying warplanes around the island’s airspace nearly every day for months. China reportedly flew 28 warplanes into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, including 20 fighters, four nuclear-capable bombers, an electronic warfare aircraft, two early warning aircraft, and an anti-submarine warfare aircraft, according to NPR.
China has warned the United States against interacting with Taiwan, and most recently told the U.S. to “refrain from sending any wrong signals” during a recent visit by U.S. senators to Taiwan, Rebel News reported.