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More foreign delegations welcome to Taiwan, foreign minister tells VOA

Taiwan's foreign minister said on Friday that additional foreign delegations were "greatly welcomed" to Taipei, citing China's furious response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit last week. He insisted that the reaction would not deter the Taiwanese government.

In an exclusive interview with VOA, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu also criticized China's military exercises following Pelosi's visit, accusing Beijing of "destroying the status quo" in the Taiwan Strait. condemned.

Wu said Taiwan cannot be prevented from implementing its own foreign policy.

"If we are doing the right thing, we must remember that China's anger should not hold us back," Wu said. ``They can always find an excuse to threaten Taiwan militarily.''

After Pelosi's visit, China surrounded Taiwan for several days in unprecedented large-scale military exercises. Chinese state media said the exercise was a rehearsal to invade or blockade the island.

However, China's response does not appear to deter visits by similar foreign high-level delegations wishing to show support for the democratically run island.


According to The Guardian,a senior group of British lawmakers will visit Taiwan later this year.U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also recently said he would visit Taiwan as House Speaker. The ruling party won the midterm elections in November.

"Anyone who wants to come to Taiwan to express their support is very welcome to visit us," Wu told his VOA in an interview at Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Told.

Delegations from the United States Congress regularly make solidarity trips to Taiwan, but Mr. Pelosi's first visit by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in 25 years.

China regards such expressions of support as a violation of its sovereignty. Taiwan has been part of China for hundreds of years, and although the Chinese Communist Party has never ruled the island, it says it has not ruled out retaking it by force.

Dismissing China's claims

China has long proposed a "one country, two systems" policy toward Taiwan. This would, in theory, give the islands more autonomy following a virtual unification with China.

But earlier this week, the Chinese government released a white paper indicating that it would offer Taiwan less flexibility than Beijing had previously promised.

This white paper, the first of its kind in nearly two decades, outlines China's envisioned policies toward Taiwan.

Previous versions of the document included a line stating that China would not send military or administrative personnel to Taiwan after reunification. That line has been removed in the latest iteration.

The document states that China has not renounced the use of force to retake Taiwan, but that China wishes to unify peacefully. He also vowed that Taiwan would maintain its "current social system" and a "high degree of autonomy."

The white paper "repeates many statements and principles that Taiwanese people don't care about," Wu said, calling the one country, two systems proposal "illusory."

"Such ideas have been completely destroyed by the way the Chinese government is treating Hong Kong," Wu added.

China also promised a "high degree of autonomy" to Hong Kong when it regained its former British colony. But the sweeping national security laws China imposed in 2020 have severely eroded China's freedoms.

"People here in Taiwan see it... they know it's something we don't want to accept," said Wu.

A poll conducted in November found that only 1.6% of Taiwanese support unification with Chinaand an overwhelming majority opposed the declaration of independence. , 85% say they support the status quo.

As public opinion in Taiwan veers hard on Beijing, some Chinese diplomats have resorted to intimidation. Earlier this month, Chinese ambassador to France Lu Shaye told a French television program that after China occupied Taiwan, China would impose a "re-education" program to instill loyalty.

The proposal sparked a mix of anger and joy in Taiwan, where residents have long dealt with the Chinese threat. Asked about Lu's comments, Wu said Taiwanese would "laugh him off the streets".

"Freedom and democracy have become part of our lives, and we believe in it. If the Chinese government wants to change that, the people of Taiwan will “I would say absolutely no,” he said.

The people of Taiwan understand that China has become "very provocative and very reckless" in its actions against Taiwan, he said.

China is "disrupting the status quo"

China announced the end of military exercises earlier this week, but Wu said the threat remained. said, referring to Chinese fighters continuing to cross the so-called center line of the Taiwan Strait.

According to Wu, the Central Line, which serves as the de facto maritime border, has "protected peace and stability" for decades. He said the recent provocations near the border were "clear signs that China is destroying the status quo."

Observers will be watching closely to see if China continues to invade the median or other provocations in the coming months. If China normalizes its military presence closer to Taiwan, the chances of miscalculation may increase, resulting in less strategic space for Taiwanese forces to maneuver.

During China's recent exercises, US aircraft carriers and other military assets have remained relatively distant. Pentagon officials have stressed de-escalation, saying they do not want war to break out.But the approach has allowed Chinese forces to get closer to Taiwan than ever before,Some Taiwanese analysts have warned

Taiwan is "not willing to yield" to China, but Mr Wu is criticizing the US decision to keep its cool. "We are doing the same thing. We are not trying to provoke China," he said. "We are calm and confident at the same time. We want to be a responsible stakeholder in the region."