In an editorial Wednesday night, Chinese state-owned media Global Times said Taiwan was “destroying its strategic maneuverability by siding completely with the United States,” increasing the risk of military conflict. He said the nationwide engagement with Taiwan was “the biggest change from the status quo” in cross-strait relations and a continuing source of tension.Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said it was confident the visit “would deepen friendship and strengthen relations between like-minded partners.”
Wu’s comments echoed earlier calls by President Tsai Ing-wen for a coalition of countries to take a stand against “authoritarian aggression” as China ramps up military and economic pressure in the region.
There have been reports of unprecedented U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, including landmines, cruise missiles and drones, on the eve of the Crash visit.
Wu told France 24 TV that Taiwan was “on the front lines in defending democracies against conquering Communist China” and needed help.
“We have made great efforts in recent years to strengthen our own defense capabilities and at the same time we also want to make the international community understand that Taiwan, as a democracy, has been threatened by China, which is an authoritarian country. trying to expand its influence, ”Wu said. He gave as examples China’s actions in the South China Sea, Hong Kong and its contentious border with India.
“We believe that like-minded countries or other democracies need to pay more attention to this area and come to the aid of each other so that China’s expansionist motivation can be dissuaded.
Although the Chinese Communist Party has never ruled Taiwan, Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of China and has accused the Tsai-led government of separatism. Beijing has never ruled out taking Taiwan by force, and recent months in particular have seen an increase in defense reinforcements and military exercises. Wu said that more than 30 People’s Liberation Army planes recently entered the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone.
The minister said that Taiwan appreciates that the United States continues to show its presence in this region, adding: “I think it is a demonstration for the Chinese side that its military threat against other peace-loving countries does not. would not have been tolerated. ”
The United States does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but under Donald Trump it is increasingly supporting Tapei, both for his successful response to the pandemic and his stance against aggression from China.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that the United States plans to sell as many as seven weapon systems to Taiwan, a rare concentration of sales after years of spaced transactions.
Under the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States supplies the Taiwanese government with arms, which then-President Ronald Reagan said in 1982 was determined “entirely on the threat posed by the RPC. [People’s Republic of China]».
The United States has announced more than $ 23 billion in arms sales to Taiwan over the past 10 years, according to a 2019 Defense Department report.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry declined to comment on the reported arms sales, saying it was keeping the talks low-key and confidential and would wait until Congress was officially notified of any sales.
Earlier this month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi accused the United States of interfering directly in territorial and maritime disputes in the region, by beefing up and stepping up its military deployment. “Such acts are becoming the main factor of militarization in the South China Sea,” Wang said.
Krach is scheduled to attend a memorial service for the late Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui and will also discuss “how to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation,” the US State Department said.
Krach’s visit follows news of a new economic dialogue between the two governments, a high-level visit by US Health Secretary Alex Azar and the Speaker of the Czech Parliament whose visit sparked a diplomatic row with China which attracted other European countries.