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Questions And Answers with Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Jaushieh Joseph Wu.

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Minister Wu took questions from pool of international media reporters in Taipei on October 12th, 2022. The session was moderated by Catherine Y.M Hsu, the Director General of International Information Services, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Andrius Balciunas, Lithuanian Public Broadcaster.

So, straight away, I am interested in when Lithuania started to have bilateral ties with Taiwan, the Taiwanese Government has promised several investment funds to Lithuania, but the process as I understand it is not moving or moving very slowly so my question is basically to put it simply, where is the money, when is it going to arrive?

The second part is, Beijing was very angry at the name of the Taiwanese Representative Office in Vilnius, that it has the word Taiwanese, so are they any negotiations about changing the name with Lithuania. Thank you

Minister Wu

Wow! Three big questions, and I will try to answer them one by one. The reason why Taiwan and Lithuania were able to establish this Representative Office relations is because we share the same values of freedom democracy and the protection of human rights, and we also have similar history. Lithuanian got rid of the Russians, and Taiwan got rid of the authoritarian rules or martial law rules and because of that the two countries the two people coming there close to each other very quickly and in the high time of COVID we donated some face masks to Lithuania and last year, Lithuania also donated some vaccines to Taiwan, and you can see that the reaction from the people are very passionate and that is propelling the relations between the two sides to go there quickly and if you go to a store here in Taiwan and try to find an Lithuanian products, very quickly products are going to be taken by the Taiwanese people and therefore you can see the trade relations have been going very well the trade figure went up for like 30% in the last year or so this is very quick development.

And Lithuania also speaks out, Lithuanian government officials also speaks out for freedom and democracy especially for the Taiwanese people there were several accounts already That you were Foreign Minister, Mr. Landsbergis is spoke about freedom loving people should look out for each other or you know, the world should support Taiwan because of the value of freedom and that is very touching to the Taiwanese people. So that is facilitating closer relations between the two sides.

And the second question is about the investment. The investment case is handled by a Capital Group over here [in Taipei] and they are very careful with the evaluation of the target of their investment. And as far as I know, they have identified several of them and they’re reviewing very carefully and should be done fairly soon. The way that we try to be more careful does not mean that it’s not coming, actually it’s coming, and we hope that when it comes there can be some celebration that Taiwanese investment is actually coming to Lithuania.

And your third question was is about the name and we really appreciate it very much that what is saying that the Taiwan ese people should be allowed to call itself the way it wants to call it, and if you look at the international community, Taiwanese people are very often denied our name. for instance, for Taiwan to be able to participate in the Olympics, we need to call ourselves Chinese Taipei, and Chinese Taipei is not or the national title, and to the Taiwanese people if there’s anyone who is willing know call Taiwan Taiwan, or to call the Taiwanese Taiwanese that is highly appreciated. and that is the way the Lithuanian government has been talking about. and there’s no mentioning of discussions or negotiations to rename our Representative Office in Vilnius and because of that that is highly appreciated.

Léo Purguette, La Marseillaise, France.

I have two questions. Concurrently what could be a mutual arrangement for you Is it the status quo? I have noticed that Elon Musk’s proposition is absolutely unacceptable for you.

And the second one, what do you have to say to the CCP delegates who are going to meet soon in Congress? In their Congress or in the Congress, 2020, the party Congress.

Minister Wu

The first is about the peaceful settlement between Taiwan and China, and if you heard what the president said yesterday, I think Taiwan is rather open to discussions or negotiations or contact or communications with the Chinese side, we have been holding several main concepts in having negotiations with China. For example there has to be dialogue rather than in conflict and the dialogue has to be based on the parity that the two sides should be equal to each other, and it should also respect the Taiwanese people and should also follow the principle of democracy, you know, Taiwan is already a democracy any kind of settlement needs to be approved by the people of Taiwan, so all these kinds of fundamental principles universally accepted should also be accepted by China as well, so if the Chinese can laid down their preconditions which is One China I think the cross-strait dialogues can take place in a smooth way, and the Chinese side is not taking that route, the Chinese side has been imposing conditions on Taiwan. They want Taiwan to accept One China principle which means that Taiwan is part of them, and they want Taiwan to adopt One Country, Two System model as a solution to the dispute in between Taiwan  and China, but if you look at the case of Hong Kong, One Country Two System model is proved to be bankrupt and the Hong Kong people used to enjoying a high degree of freedom there economy is one of the most open and their media is probably one of the freest in East Asia as well, but after the imposition of the National Security Law a couple of years ago all this is gone, there is no more freedom and the publicly elected officials in Hong Kong as long as they are pro-democracy they are being thrown out of office one after another and Taiwanese people are watching this taking place and therefore the Taiwanese people through public opinion survey have totally rejected the Chinese offer of One Country Two System model and as I said, if there’s going to be any settlement of disputes between Taiwan and China it has to come from diplomatic or peaceful negotiation in order to reach a peaceful solution. And if the Chinese want to have a peaceful solution, they also need to recognize that Taiwan is already an established democracy, and by using force against Taiwan, or trying to intimidate Taiwan by military force, or trying to isolate Taiwan internationally, or trying to impose economic sanctions against Taiwan actually is pushing Taiwan people further and further away.

On the twenties party congress, we noticed that China is about to have its twenties part of congress right now they’re probably entering their preparatory stage already, but this is their internal development their internal manner and for outside world to discuss China ‘s internal matter is probably not appropriate.

Suyeon Kim, Mainichi Newspaper, Japan.

Thank you very much for meeting with us, my name is Suyeon Kim from the Mainichi Newspaper in Japan and, I would like to also ask about the question with regard to CCP congress everywhere so wondering what’s going to what’s going to happen then after the CCP ‘s congress and during the Xi Jinping third term third term, do you expect China will strengthen its military pressure on Taiwan and if so how is the Taiwan planning to address these problems? Thank you.

Minister Wu

Indeed, President Xi Jinping is coming to assume his third term after the 20th Party Congress. There’s a lot of discussions with the Chinese going to be even tougher on Taiwan afterward, or China is going to be more accommodating because he does not have to face the reelection anymore. So the kinds of discussion is up to what the Chinese people want to adopt, but the way we look at China ‘s political development is that it has a lot of domestic issues to handle. If you look at the recent COVID lockdown in China is causing tremendous economic problems in China and it is also causing domestic discontent and other than COVID lockdown it also has Severe financial problems, some of the local banks are actually having real difficulties, and the Chinese real estate industry, it’s also facing very serious problems these days.

And I think for a genuine leader of the Chinese people, he needs to try and solve the problems China is facing or at least he needs to try to resolve some of the difficulties the Chinese people are facing.

And for the Chinese Government to look outward and try to pick on a small guy like Taiwan and to create crisis to divert domestic attention is probably not the best way for the Chinese people and in that sense I will continue to call out the Chinese leaders to think about the peaceful way to resolve the differences in between the two sides.

Suyeon Kim, Mainichi Newspaper, Japan.

So are you the optimistic about future threats?

Minister Wu

it’s going to be hard to anticipate what will happen across the Taiwan Strait, whether it’s going to be more peaceful or China is going to be more intimidating it’s totally up to China and so far we are still watching very carefully and I probably need to address a little bit about the way we look at the cross-strait crisis that we experience in august in early august the kinds of threat against Taiwan including missile tests very close to Taiwan ‘s waters and some of them are actually landed in Japanese claimed EEZ and also a large number of aircrafts and ships conducting air and sea exercises and also cyber-attacks and disinformation campaign and economic coercion and putting all this together, I think it’s Chinese playbook of the future invasion of Taiwan, and that is something that we can do without.

A peaceful and stable cross-strait relations essentially serves the best interest of all parties concerned, and the Chinese way of trying to alter the status quo by force is the most unfortunate thing that can happen to the Taiwan strait and it’s not just the Taiwanese people saying that you know we need peace and stability across the cross-strait, the Japanese government has also been speaking in numerous occasions that the cross-strait peace and stability is very important matter and it’s not only Japan if you look at G7 or EU or other forms of multilateral statements, they come out and say that the peace and stability over the Taiwan strait is very important, and I certainly hope that the Chinese leaders or Chinese decision makers will listen to all these opinions coming out of international organizations or international multilateral forums or coming from international leaders like the Japan and to act accordingly to try and keep the cross-strait situation in a peaceful and stable way.

Ms. Kaye Albyt, Radio New Zealand.

Hello, I am just asking a question on behalf of my colleagues at work who work in the Pacific region, they would like to know whether Taiwan is providing any support to the Malaita province in Solomon Islands which has resisted the switch to China? And question two: Would Taiwan be open to a switch back in domestic ties for its former pacific allies noting that some places like Kiribati have been around the block a couple of times so I think they’re asking their whether Taiwan would be open to any countries changing alliances back to Taiwan.

Minister Wu

Thank you thank you very much for these two questions the issue of Malaika problems we do have some friends over there and they ask for some small assistance you know for example during the height of COVID they asked for some material and we did try to support them with COVID materials or COVID prevention materials and the leader of Malaita province was Suidani for a period of time and he wanted to come to Taiwan for treatment and we therefore accepted him for treatment here in Taiwan , so we just come out of this humanitarian perspective in trying to provide support to Malaita and other than humanitarian assistance, there’s no other type of contest.

And for the future of Solomon Islands, I think it’s up to the Solomon people to decide and on the question of whether we are trying to you know actively solicit the switch of diplomatic ties from our former diplomatically like Carabas we are not doing it, but i think our posture is open if the Carabas people feel that China after all these big promises are not coming to provide any assistance to Carabas and they feel that they want to come back to Taiwan to submit diplomatic ties we are open to that but we are not actively seeking the switch of diplomatic relations and I think it’s up to the Carabas people again. Thank you.

Let me say a few more words about the larger picture other than just two specific things if you look at China ‘s authoritarian expansion in the pacific It is very worrisome. If you look at the Chinese military exercises during this period, even though the general international audience is focused on the Taiwan strait, but very often, the Chinese air or sea exercises were carried out east of the first island chain, and sometimes they go very deep into the pacific close to Guam or even further than Guam, and in June this year they sign a security agreement with the Solomon Islands. And if you look at the position of Solomon Islands, it’s so far away from China, but right at the doorstep of Australia, and you can see the ambition of the authoritarianism in China. And when they expand their authoritarian order, it’s altering the rules-based international order. And for democracies, these kinds of action or this kind of expansionism is probably not so welcomed and under these kinds of circumstances democracies New Zealand, Australia and Japan and Taiwan and the United States who care about the free and open Indo-Pacific need to work further with each other to make sure that we can prevent authoritarianism from further expansion

Saeed S Ibrahim, Somaliland Chronicle. Somaliland.

Thank you very much Minister Wu for your valuable time. My question is, Taiwan and Somaliland have recently established bilateral ties, and as you know Somaliland is situated strategically in a place that almost can become a beachhead for Taiwan to actually get more diplomatic ties with other African countries and as a model or an alternative to the Chinese debt trap as people call, and although Taiwan is about to start oil exploration as its first large scale direct foreign investment in Somaliland, is it part of your government’s policy to seek diplomatic ties by using direct foreign investment in Somaliland as a model to potentially attract more relationships from other countries that are trying to get from under the Chinese debt trap? Thank you.

Minister Wu

Well, thank you very much for this Somaliland specific question. Somaliland and Taiwan stablished the Representative Office relations and for year three years ago and we were very happy with the way the two countries are respecting each other and working together and with each other. We already send our technical team to Somaliland, we are thinking about how to provide with more medical support, providing Somaliland with agricultural production, and whenever there’s a drought or natural disaster or manmade disaster Taiwan is always there to provide support to Somaliland, and if you compare the way the Taiwanese people or Taiwanese government is supporting Somaliland to the Chinese way of providing support to other African countries, it’s a very clear contrast.

We try to establish the Taiwanese model, the Taiwanese model is to go through our technical missions and go through our medical institutions here in Taiwan to provide medical assistance, and we also go through our technical mission to improve your agricultural production and we try to invite Somaliland students to Taiwan for job training, for education things like that, and I think this is going quite well except that we are experiencing COVID in the last few years and therefore the exchanges have been slowing down, but otherwise we would like to establish a Taiwan model of development in Somaliland so that the people in Africa can see what the difference in is in between the Taiwanese model and the Chinese model and a lot of People have been critical of the Chinese model. It starts from the Indian Ocean to Africa. China is trying to push for its Belt and Road initiative go all the way in Indian Ocean to Africa and even to Eastern part of Europe, but they are interested more in the securing ports for their future naval expansion. Look at Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and then Sri Lanka, Pakistan all the way to Djibouti. They don’t care whether the government over there can afford the huge loans they got from China but the Chinese if you look at the example of Sri Lanka and China is so happy that it can have a ninety nine year operation for the Hambantota port and at the same time Sri Lanka has already declared bankruptcy but the Chinese government is not providing any assistance to the Sri Lankan government so this is the Chinese mode of expansion, and the Chinese way of helping other countries with debt-trap diplomacy or their assistance leading to corruption and I’m sure that is something that the people in those countries that will come to China’s build world initiative can do without.

So with Somaliland, we want to show to the international community that there’s something different that Taiwan can do to help the people directly, and this is what we are trying to do and I agree with you that Somaliland is strategically located but other than the fact that Somaliland especially port of Berbera is strategically located, Somaliland is also a democracy, a shine model of democracy in the continent of Africa and that is something that Taiwan or other fellow democracies to work closely with.

I was about to visit Somaliland last year, if not for the sudden spike of COVID in Taiwan, I would have made the first trip to Somaliland to discuss with the Somaliland leaders how we can further consolidate Somaliland’s democracy or to discuss ways for Somaliland to further economically to further the economic cooperation for your economic development, but I will continue to look for a time to visit your country. Thank you

Thierry Jacolet, La Liberté, Geneva

Mr. Wu, I have two questions Taiwan ‘s taking a paying a great deal of attention about what is happening in Ukraine, regarding the few countries that recognize Taiwan, and they are especially islands and the strategic ambiguity of two of your allies, USA and Japan, what can you expect from the foreign countries for the support in case of Chinese aggression or to calm down China?

And my second question is, as you seem to be the master of the soft power in Taiwan, I would like to know how this soft power can help you to find a great support from foreign countries?

Minister Wu

The international pressure on Taiwan is a very serious, but if you look at the UN, ICAO and WHO etc. Taiwan is not a member. Taiwan cannot even become an observer.  So, the kind of pressure on Taiwan is tremendous And the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in Taiwan has the responsibility of expanding Taiwan’s room for international participation, and therefore we try to find all kinds of ways to explain Taiwan’s international space and we’ve been working with diplomatic allies and at the same time work with like-minded partners to explain Taiwanese international participation. Our diplomatic allies are being very forthcoming in supporting Taiwan’s international participation for example, and participating in UN or ICAO or WHO etc. They are the ones who are able to speak directly in the assembly to call for Taiwan ‘s participation and that is highly appreciated but at the same time we are also trying to make new friends partner democracies to speak up for Taiwan or to join demarche against the secretariat of the international organizations or for the parliamentarians of the federal democracies to write letters to write petitions to come up with resolutions and etc and so far we have been quite successful in soliciting in international support we have more and more countries especially coming from the government side willing to speak up for Taiwan or to petition the secretariat of various international organizations for Taiwan’s meaningful participation and there are more and more parliamentarians for these may you know drive for the WHO.

The more than 3000 parliamentarians in Europe, in the Latin America or even in Asia, they sign petition to support our participation in the WHO, so there’s a growing awareness, especially after COVID, that Taiwan ‘s participation in international organizations or participating in various international activities should be supported and we appreciate the international support for Taiwan was role in international participation and I think the question is rather simple you know Taiwan has twenty three point five million people and it’s not a small number it’s certainly bigger than the Switzerland but Taiwan has been excluded from the WHO from the UN and et cetera and therefore it’s not fair to the Taiwanese people And whenever there is a need for Taiwan to ask for support or ask for assistance, the international organizations may not be providing the support.

Still, remember back in 1996 when Taiwan went through terrible internal virus, we asked for The WHO to send assistance to Taiwan and it was not coming, was not coming at all. And we saw very young children suffered from internal virus and in 2003 we experienced SARS and at that time we asked for the WHO to send experts to Taiwan to help us deal with the SARS but the WHO did not send expert to Taiwan until there was a major hospital outbreak, and by the time those specialists came to Taiwan, they are prohibited by the WHO to speak with our health officials. So, that is the tough situation we are facing and if you look at the charter of the WHO all people around the world are entitled to the highest standard of health provided by the WHO, but that is not true to the Taiwanese people, and it’s not fair to us, and if you speak to the average Taiwanese person to be excluded from the international organization such as the WHO, is not a good feeling.

And at the same time we also think that Taiwan might be able to provide support at the beginning of the covid provided PPEs and face masks to various countries and that shows that Taiwan is able to support and if we are able to provide support through the WHO, that kind of support can be more effective and this is the simple fact that if Taiwan is not able to provide support through WHO It’s not fair to the rest of the world.

Because of the experience in 2003, the SARS experience in 2003 where we were very alert of what’s going on in China, whether there’s any transmittable diseases that can come to Taiwan. So at the end of 2019, we noticed some signs of that transmittable disease, SARS like diseases, and the patients were treated in isolation and that early alerted us, so we sent a notice to WHO, and then we started screening the people coming from Wuhan area, so we started a rather quickly and Taiwan was very successful in containing the spread of virus here in Taiwan, and this is how we dealt with it, and we think that that kind of experience is also very valuable, and we hope we can share that kind of experience with more people or more countries throughout the world, and indeed we were sharing that experience bilaterally with any country that wants to you know engage Taiwan or exchange with Taiwan. We went through video conferences, our health officials at that time in 2020, it was very busy not only dealing with the pandemic situation here in Taiwan, but we also tried to provide support to other countries through these kinds of mechanism.

And on the second question of soft power, I don’t know whether to describe this as soft power or to allow Taiwan’s story to be heard internationally. We always welcome international visitors to come to Taiwan, and we love friends, and I think you can understand why Taiwan loves friends. We have been pressured by China, and the more friends we have, the better it is for us.

So the best way to make friends is to with each other to be transparent with each other to invite friends to come and visit Taiwan like the way we invite you to visit Taiwan, or to allow Taiwanese people performing groups or artists or whatever to have more opportunities to participate in international activities. Through these kinds of activities Taiwan is going to be noticed more noticed by the international community, and I am very glad to tell you that Taiwan has been described as a force for good in the world in the last few years.

We tried to provide support to the international community, and we join some of the international drives for some good causes. For example Taiwan does not have the problem of terrorism, but we joined the anti-ISIS coalition anyway, we provided support to these organizations hoping that these organization will stop international terrorism, and we also provide support to international religious freedom movement because we think it is very important to promote religious freedom and we are generous in doing that, and because of all these generous contributions or participating in the international activities by making contributions, Taiwan is gradually being caused by being called a force for good in the world and many countries in the world called Taiwan a reliable partner and we are very happy with that and that also adds more responsibility type one that we need to do more good things.

Ms. Mirta Estela Ruiz Diaz, Ultima Horta, Paraguay.

Paraguay is currently Taiwan’s only ally in South America and I would like to ask if there are plans to increase Taiwan’s investment in Paraguay and are there plans expand markets for Paraguayan products in Taiwan’s markets?

Minister Wu

Those are two very good questions, we have been organizing trade and investment delegations to Paraguay as we speak right now, there’s a group of businessmen in Paraguay right now they are speaking with Paraguay industries for expansion of cooperation, and we will continue to do that. I was in Paraguay in 2019 I also led a business delegation together with me and the kinds of discussions we were quite successful but then COVID seemed to have affected a lot of things going on, but we will continue to encourage our businessmen to think about the investment cases in Paraguay.

I think Paraguay has a very good geographical location, and that is being recognized by the Taiwanese people, and I think right now is to encourage more Taiwanese businessmen to look at Paraguay. And after all, Paraguay is such an important friend of ours for so long and there is a natural affinity between the high-level official in Paraguay and Taiwan, so we have full intention to work together with the Paraguay government to enhance the bilateral investment relations.

And the second question is the opening up of Taiwanese market or further opening of Taiwan’s market for the Paraguayan product if you look at Paraguay’s products there are two main items one is beef and another one is pork, when i was in Paraguay in 2019, I brought together with me a  very good news to expand the quota of or to lift the quota limitation on the Paraguay beef and I think because of that effort the Paraguay export of beef to Taiwan has increased so tremendously that Taiwan has become the most important export market for the Paraguay’s beef.

And we have also been discussing with the Paraguayan Government on opening up towards pork market for the pork products from Paraguay and the announcement is about to be made, and we are ready to welcome the pork products coming from Paraguay. So, trust us the faith is there, and we are very sincere in working together with the Paraguay Government to make sure that the trade and investment relations between our two countries say very healthy.

Mr. José Angel Santamaria Salaza, El Universal, Mexico

Good afternoon Mr. Wu, two questions: How is Taiwan’s diplomatic relationship with Mexico? And how do you hope to strengthen diplomatic relations with Mexico? And another question that is more general, what is Taiwan ‘s greatest achievement?

Minister Wu

We have very good trade and economic relations with Mexico, the trade volume or Taiwanese investment going into Mexico is tremendous by taking the strategic location of Mexico that is very close to the united states, so the economic side the relations are very strong, and the economic officials between the two size have engagement with each other every once in a while especially the senior level trade officials, so we will continue to do that but politically we don’t go very far I think the Mexican officials think that its relations with China is very important and that concerned about offending China by reaching out to Taiwan for some official contact, actually that leads to a common question that we face these days in some countries do think that their relations with China are very important, some of the countries in Taiwan’s vicinity do think that way but I think we can also look at the leverage China is concerned that there are more countries that will come to Taiwan citizens or to have official contact with Taiwan and if you do have an official contacts with Taiwan I think that is going to increase your leverage.  Lithuania happens to be a case that we can think about the reason why the Chinese Government is targeting Lithuania and come down with the heavy hand, because they think that local area is small and it’s weak and they can punish Lithuania. But if more and more countries think that it’s the right thing to get in touch with someone to negotiate with Taiwan, to enhance ties with Taiwan, I just don’t think that China is able to retaliate against that many countries all together, so this is a very simple calculation and especially Mexico which right next to the United States if there’s anything that you would need the US support in dealing with an authoritarian China I am sure the united states will be more than happy to support you.

And the second question is about Taiwan, such achievement I would like to say a political side and economic side, if you look at the political side, Taiwan was an authoritarian country before, in 1996. We are gradually evolving from an authoritarian country beginning from 1986, 1987 to 1996, before 1987 Taiwan was run by martial law, and it was a highly authoritarian country and we did not have freedom we did not have human rights we were not able to elect our public officials at all, but beginning from 1987 we pushed the martial law of the edge and Taiwan was he involved in a series of political development, democratic development and in the year 1996 we were able to elect our president for the first time democratically and popularly, and by that time Taiwan was recognized internationally as the first democracy in this part of the world and as we run for presidential election and parliamentary elections over time Taiwan has consolidated its democracy and this is something that is being recognized internationally if you look at the indexes coming out of major international organizations doing the survey on freedom and democracy Taiwan is probably the most democratic countries in the Asia pacific and in terms of freedom Taiwan is the freest society in east Asia, and if you look at equality, gender equality included, Taiwan is probably the highest in this area as well so we are very proud of this achievement and we are very proud that the major rating international organizations rated Taiwan as a full-fledged democracy and red Taiwan as a fully democratic or fully free society, so that is a very important for us and another achievement is economic achievement in the fifties and sixties, Taiwan was very poor and we relied on international assistance especially assistance coming from the united states but gradually we were able to build up our economy.

We were able to build up our industries and beginning from 1970s and 80s, we were able to start the development of Taiwan semiconductor industry and also Taiwan ‘s ICT sector and by this point, you can probably tell that Taiwan is a powerhouse of the IC products in the world. If you look at all the end products of computer chips, Taiwan has about 65% percent in the world production, and if you look at the highest end of the assembly the conductor computer chips Taiwan has more than ninety percent, so this is a high concentration of computer chips here in Taiwan and this is coming through a lot of effort, not only by the government but also by the industries and also by the international community, you know, gradually we’ve probably a very solid ecosystem here in Taiwan, the material suppliers, the producers and the application industries are here in Taiwan, they all reside in Taiwan.

I don’t know whether you had a chance to visit the Shinju Science Park or Taichung Science Park or Tainan Science Park. These are huge in science parks and these kinds of ecosystem is not found anywhere else and we are very proud of Taiwan can be a powerhouse of the computer or ICT products.

Jimmy Sengenberger, Denver Gazette, Denver Colorado.

Thank you so much Foreign Minister, I really appreciate this opportunity and you have many friends in Colorado, in the United States and of course recently our president has essentially really affirmed the commitment to Taiwan’s security in the event of say an invasion and of course we had speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi Just recently visiting Taiwan despite Chinas pushback.

I’m curious two part question #1. How would you assess the current state of any formal or informal security agreements between the US and Taiwan, vis a vis Taiwan and the PRC?

And then can you talk broadly about the importance of American – Taiwanese relations because certainly there’s a unique role that the United States has to play on the world and can play in regard to Taiwan. Thank you so much.

Minister Wu

Thank you very much for the questions. I’ve been to Colorado several times and I really enjoyed it. There was a time I was in Colorado, invited Colorado Springs and Congressman Lamborn, he was newly elected, and I was serving as Taiwan’s Ambassador to Washington DC at the time and he invited me for breakfast in Colorado Springs, and they explained to me that the Colorado people have beef steak for breakfast, and that was very amazing to me. But I like the landscape, I like the people over there. They’re passionate. They’re nice people.

And other than, you know, seeing the very nice people over there, yeah, I also spoke with lots of media in Colorado in my visits to your state.

So, I would say that the, the State of Colorado is a great friend of Taiwan. In fact the United States is a great friend of Taiwan and we enjoy support coming from the United States is not just the administration it’s also the successive administrations either the Republican administration or the Democratic administration they may provide support to Taiwan in various forms or various ways, but there is support to Taiwan is unequivocal, and we also enjoy bipartisan support from the Capital Hill know congressman from the United States continued to tell us that they are divided on all kinds of issues but this one issue that can unite them that is the Taiwan issue, and we are very happy that the congressional leaders in the united states continue to propose resolutions bills and etcetera to come to Taiwan support and in the Washington’s policy community used to be divided in between the blue camps and the red camps but right now there is only Taiwan team or Taiwan camp in the policy circle in Washington DC, and we are very happy to enjoy the kind of support that United States has been providing to Taiwan. And based on that I would like to say the security ties in between Taiwan and the United States has been very strong, very solid.

We continue to buy arms from the United States for our self-defense and the United States is the probably the only country in the world that will be willing to sell defensive articles to Taiwan and that is really appreciated and together with the answer of course there will be training there will be maintenance there will be other type of for cooperation that comes with arms sales, and all these have been going on and therefore you can see the security relations between Taiwan and the United States have been going very well, and especially after the war in Ukraine I think the international community, the decision makers in the United States or the Taiwanese people and the Taiwanese government understand that the war may not be that far, and if there’s going to be a war between Taiwan and China, we all want the Taiwanese people to be able to defend ourselves, so we expedited the process of security discussions with each other trying to discuss what kind of defense policies is the best for Taiwan, and we’ve been following through with the recommendations of the united states and we hope that the United States will continue to provide support to Taiwan so that Taiwan is able to defend itself.

A lot of people are talking about the United States intervening in Taiwan’s contingency, and president Biden was talking about the American men and women to come to Taiwan ‘s defense but we look at The dependency issue this way: Defending Taiwan is our own responsibility. And if we are not willing to defend ourselves or we are not determined to defend ourselves, we don’t have the right to ask for any support at all. And I can tell you that Taiwanese people are more determined than ever to defend ourselves after all this is our democracy, this is our people this is our democratic way of life, and this is our sovereignty, and we will definitely defend it. Some people are saying that Taiwan is small, and China is so big and powerful, but we have faith in ourselves, and we have faith in democracy as well.

If you look at the case of Ukraine, a lot of people at the beginning of the war in February are saying that the Ukraine is going to fall prey to Russia in a matter of days. But look at the Ukrainian people. They are determined to defend themselves, and they show their determination and their bravery to the international community. And that attracts a lot of support coming from around the world, including from Taiwan. And we show support because the Ukrainians are determined to defend themselves. And we want to show to the international community that we are willing to defend ourselves, and we are absolutely determined to defend ourselves too. And we have faith, and in the end, we believe that democracy is going to prevail in Taiwan will also prevail.

Lesroy Williams, Director General @ St Kitts and Nevis Information Service

Thank you, Minister Wu. My question is a very simple one. The rest of the world has condemned the Russia invasion of Ukraine. China ‘s Has remained silent and he has not publicly condemned Russia for this invasion. What is Taiwan’s interpretation of this?

Minister Wu

Hi and thank you very much for that question. When Russia launched its attack against Ukraine on February 24th, Taiwan joined the fellow democracies in condemning Russia, and we also joined the international community in the sanctions against Russia.

We want to make sure that none of Taiwan’s products will be used by Russia as part of its weapons to attack the innocent Ukrainians, and we also provided lots of support to the Ukrainian people especially to the displaced Ukrainians living in Poland and Slovakia in the Czech Republic etc, and the people here in Taiwan also reacted in a very strong way they want to make donations they urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to open up an account to accept their donation And they also donated materials, 562 tons altogether, and we sent the materials to Poland and to Slovakia to go inside Ukraine to support the Ukrainian people. We did this not because Taiwan and Ukraine had good political relations before, or we are asking anything in return. That is only because we think it is the right thing to do.

We want to do the right thing by standing together with peace loving democracies around the world to go against an invader an uninvited invader that attacked a fellow democracy of ours so that is why we did that. But if you listen to the joint statement from Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping at the beginning of February when the Putin participated in the Winter Olympics those kinds of languages were very alarming, and throughout the war until this day, China never said anything against Russia, and I think you can see the mentality of the Chinese government, they are on the one hand we want to continue to support Russia in a very quiet way for example increasing trade buy more oil so that Russia can stay alive economically and they also want to go through the international organizations to have serious actions against Russia the very recent example of the annexation of those four provinces the United Nations wanted to have a vote on that but China and Russia just beat to it you can see that those two guys are working with each other in a very quiet way and i think it’s gradually leading to the Ukrainian people started viewing the kinds of relationship they are having with China some of the Ukrainian political leaders like there their Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Rada, they’re describing Taiwan ese people are their friends providing a genuine support but at the same time China is their enemy’s friend so that’s probably some of the kinds of relations between China and Russia thank you minister one more question oh one more poster from Bulgaria republic of Bulgaria what is the consistent message that you would like the rest of the world to hear from Taiwan That’s a big question.

easy and very hard question but thank you very much for asking that question the message can be very simple and can also be very complicated Taiwan is a democracy we are very proud of that and because we are a democracy we share the same values of freedom and the protection of human rights and rule of law with fellow democracies and based on this we hope we can make more friends with fellow democracies but because of the neighbor we have a joint neighbor very powerful politically or economically that has made it very difficult for us to reach out to the broad international community and make friends for instance we don’t have an office in Bulgaria we hope we can have an office in Bulgaria soon but it looks very difficult but what we would like to let the international community understand is that Taiwan is a very open society is a democracy and economically it is also a powerhouse of the modern technological products and we would like to work together with the rest of the world to advance the fortune of the mankind and we would like to work with fellow democracies to advance the shared values so that they are more people can enjoy freedom and democracy and the protection of human rights thank you very much mike this chair and thank you everyone and all of you are very tight schedule especially during the national day celebration week so and also to our media friends i’m sure this definitely another.

Mr. Radoslav Smilkov, Fakti, Bulgaria

What is the consistent message you would like the rest of the world to hear from Taiwan.

Minister Wu

That is a very big question but thank you very much for that question, the message can be very simple and very complicated. Taiwan is a democracy, and we are very proud of that, and because we are a democracy, we share the same values of freedom and the protection of human rights rule of law with fellow democracies, based on this, we hope we can make more friends with fellow democracies. But because of the neighbor we have, a giant neighbor that is very powerful, politically and economically that has made it very difficult for us to reach out to the broad international community and make friends. For instance, we don’t have an office in Bulgaria, we hope we can office in Bulgaria but it looks very difficult but we would like to let the international community understand that Taiwan is a very open society, it is a democracy and economically it is a powerhouse of modern technological products and we would like to work with the rest of the world to advance the fortune of mankind, and we would like to work with fellow democracies to advance the shared values, so that more can people can enjoy freedom, democracy and human rights.

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