Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has issued a grave warning about China’s attempts to reunify the east Asian nation.
The comments come amid growing military activity near Taiwan and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s intentions to reunify the two nations despite the Taiwanese resistance.
Speaking exclusively to Sky News Australia host Peta Credlin, Mr Wu said Taiwan would continue to defend its sovereignty and democracy regardless of China’s military strength.
“We share the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, protection of human rights et cetera and we are like-minded,” he said.
“If you look at the ambition of the authoritarian China, they want to change the international order, they want to impose their authoritarian views on Taiwan and the rest of the Indo-Pacific.
“Therefore if Taiwan falls I’m sure the rest of the region is going to feel the impact.
“For that reason alone Taiwan must stand very strong in resisting the expansion of authoritarianism and we will fight very hard to protect not only Taiwan’s sovereignty but also Taiwan’s democratic way of life.”
Last year President Xi Jinping vowed to realise peaceful “reunification” but refused to use the word force despite growing military pressure.
“Reunification of the nation must be realised, and will definitely be realised,” Mr Xi said
“Reunification through a peaceful manner is the most in line with the overall interest of the Chinese nation, including Taiwan compatriots.”
The Foreign Minister acknowledged the President and his official’s “constantly talking about reunification” and said there had already been “military coercion”.
“One indicator is their air intrusion into our air defence identification zones (ADIZ) for the last year alone they flew almost 1,000 sorties into our ADIZ and that is very threatening,” he said.
“In addition to that they have also naval forces that are getting very strong and they conduct their exercises around Taiwan all the time and in addition they also have deployed quite a number of missiles targeted at Taiwan.”
In response to the military activity Mr Wu admitted Taiwan needed to be prepared and had begun conversations with “like-minded countries” about the Chinese threat and Taiwan’s best defence.
“The way we try to do it is to make more investments in our own defence and defending Taiwan is not just Taiwan’s responsibility,” he said.
The Foreign Minister accepted Taiwan held the responsibility to protect the Taiwanese sovereignty, democracy and territory adding that it “had the determination” to do so.
Mr Wu added that the majority of the population had little interest in reunifying with the People’s Republic of China saying that “more than 90 per cent” of those living in Taiwan regard themselves as Taiwanese and not Chinese.
“Beginning from the 1990s as the democratic transformation in Taiwan is going on (sic) people understand more and more that we are different from China,” he said.
“Especially when the Chinese government is trying to suffocate Taiwan internationally or try to use military coercion against Taiwan.
“People started to realise that we don’t want to be part of the PRC.”