Taiwanese FM on China: 'After Hong Kong, Taiwan might be next'
Issued on: Modified:
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 be able to respond to the threat and welcomed US moves to warn China against using force. He also said that the potential for an accidental war with China was escalating.
Wu hailed the recent trip by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to Taiwan – the highest-level visit to 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. He refused, however, to confirm such a trip 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", citing China's expansionist moves in the South China Sea at the border with India and in Hong Kong as a reason.
Wu refused to confirm that five pro-democracy activists who had fled Hong Kong 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.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe