Unlike China, the U.S. and Japan do not want to annex Taiwan: Premier Lai

Lai was responding to KMT complaints about government tourism policies

Premier William Lai at the Legislative Yuan Tuesday.

Premier William Lai at the Legislative Yuan Tuesday. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Unlike China, the United States and Japan do not want to annex Taiwan and do not have missiles pointing at the island, Premier William Lai (賴清德) told lawmakers Tuesday in a defense of the government’s tourism policies.

Legislator Ma Wen-chun (馬文君) of the opposition Kuomintang criticized the government Tuesday for the sharp fall in tourism from China, saying that its policy to encourage tourism from other countries could not make up for the shortfall as those others did not spend as much as the Chinese.

Ma, who hails from the popular mountainous county of Nantou in Central Taiwan, said the number of Chinese tourists had fallen by 32 percent but the spending by others had not made up for the drop, while turning away from China in favor of “looking eastward,” a reference to Japan and the U.S., would be even more dangerous.

Lai said that Taiwan welcomed visitors from China and would do everything to assure their safety and the quality of their trip, but as long as Beijing did not adapt its policies, it would be necessary to try and attract visitors from other countries, the Chinese-language Liberty Times quoted Lai as saying.

The premier said that no matter which countries, Japan or the U.S., did not have missiles targeting Taiwan or policies to annex the island.