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'We are not afraid': Taiwan's foreign minister says island will face 'greater' China threat

Taipei, Taiwan (CNN)Taiwan China's threat to Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said in an interview Monday, including welcoming those who support the company to defend Taiwan's freedom and democracy.

Wu's defiant message follows U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's next four-day show of power as China conducts military exercises around the autonomous island . 14} came when it said it would continue. Last week's trip to Taipei.

"China has been a constant threat to Taiwan for years, and it has become more serious in recent years," Wu said. “Whether or not Chairman Pelosi visits Taiwan, the Chinese military threat to Taiwan will always be there, and it is a fact that we must deal with.”

Friends abroad welcoming the island to the island was an important part of Taiwan's strategy to counter China's attempts to isolate it from the international community -- due to potential backlash from Beijing. Nonetheless, Wu said.

"[China] cannot tell Taiwan that it should not welcome people who want to express their support for Taiwan," said who has served as Taiwan's foreign minister since 2018. Mr. Wu said.
Pelosi's visit to Taiwan - his first visit to Taiwan by a sitting Speaker of the House in 25 years - was strongly opposed by China's ruling Communist Party .
Following Pelosi's visit, Beijing imposed economic sanctionsand islands. The launch of missiles in the air for the first time , and the exercises Taipei said were intended to "simulate" an attack on themain island andthe navy.

The exercises were originally scheduled to end on Sunday, but the exercises around Taiwan continued on Monday, according to a statement by the Chinese military.

But as live-fire drills sparked global fears of possible military conflict, the mood in Taiwan has calmed down, and life continues as usual in packed restaurants and crowded public transport.

For Wu, this threat made it all the more important that Taiwan continue to build international relations and show it is not afraid.

"I worry that China will really start a war against Taiwan," he said. "But what China is doing now is trying to scare us, and the best way to deal with it is to show China that we are not scared."

Pelosi of Taiwan

Her trip was long debated,and much debated,but Taiwanese officials said they received only brief notice of her arrival. Wu said.

"Her trips are always subject to many considerations, especially security considerations, so we never knew until the last minute when she solidified her plans." Wu said, although the itinerary for Taipei is several days in advance, it is not the exact timing of her arrival.

The visit of the congressional delegation accompanied by the Speaker included meetings in Taiwan's legislature and the office of Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, where Pelosi said, "America stands with Taiwan." "I'm here to send a clear message," he said.

Wu said her most memorable part of the trip was greeting Pelosi and the delegation at the airport, and she has long looked forward to her visit.

"And by the time she left, she had not only said goodbye to me, but she had also taken care of ground crew, security, and the airport." I also said goodbye to the people who were doing the one," Wu said.

When asked after the visit whether the United States would increase its support for Taiwan, Wu said that the United States had always been "very supportive" of Taiwan, but that the current support was "

In an exclusive interview with CNN last October, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen admitted that US military trainers were in Taiwan. . For the first time since Washington, a Taiwanese leader acknowledged their existence.
However, the perception of US support provoked Beijing's ire. "Seriously affects the political basis of Sino-US relations" and "seriously undermines peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait."

In response, shortly after Pelosi's arrival, China announced large-scale military exercises in six areas around the island of Taiwan.

While the United States and many of its allies condemned the drills, China defended its actions as "legitimate and justified," describing it as "China's biggest hindrance and It is the United States, not China, that has destabilized the peace."

"Disrupting" the status quo

Taiwan and China,ending a civil warmore than 70 years ago, Fugitive to Taipei.Taiwantransitioned from authoritarian rule to democracy in the 1990sand now ranks among the freest countries.
United States Asian jurisdiction by Freedom House, a non-profit organization based. Chinese leader Xi JinpingrevealsChinese leader Xi Jinpinghis ambition to forcibly "reunite" with the island if necessary made it
Wu accused China of trying to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. These included recently conducting military exercises across the Central Line, halfway between Taiwan and mainland China, which had formerly been unofficially supported by Beijing and Taipei.

Dozens of Chinese fighter jets crossed the median line between Thursday and Sunday, Taiwan's Ministry of Defense reported. An unofficial Central Line has maintained peace in the Taiwan Strait for decades, but China now publicly denies its existence.

"This kind of action is destroying the status quo, destroying peace and stability in the region, and should not be accepted," said Mr Wu, who said that China should open the Taiwan Strait to its own territory. It added that it was about to declare itself an inland strait. Out at sea "for a while" before Pelosi's visit.

This has implications beyond Taiwan as China seeks to expand its influence across the Western Pacific, Wu said. However, he added that he is optimistic about the future.

"Democracy will win," he said. "If you look at authoritarianism, it's not resilient. It may look strong, it may look like it's growing. But it's not resilient and will collapse at some point."

When asked if the situation could be called a crisis, Mr. Wu replied that it would ultimately be up to Beijing.

"Whether or not the Chinese leader wants to pursue peaceful and stable relations with Taiwan depends on the will of the Chinese leader."

Wu said. said he was not sure whether Chinese leaders had "decided" to use force to occupy Taiwan, but Taiwanese officials were "considering several different scenarios." It seeks to divert attention from domestic affairs by posing a crisis in the Taiwan Strait.

"The important thing for us is that we need to be prepared," said Wu. "We want to protect the freedom and democracy we enjoy here. No one can take it away from us."