TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Wednesday (Nov. 6) said that Taiwan will need to brace itself for a "military conflict" if China's economy continues to decay.
In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Wu indicated that if internal strife, such as what is taking place in Hong Kong, spreads, or China's economy continues to decline, Taiwan will need to gird itself for a military showdown with the communist country. "We need to prepare ourselves for the worst situation to come... military conflict," said Wu.
As a result of the U.S.-China trade war and ballooning domestic debt, China saw its official economic growth rate drop down to 6 percent in the third quarter this year, its slowest quarterly growth rate in 26 years. However, the real number could be far worse, as China's economic statistics are notorious for being overly inflated, with some experts saying the real number could already be below 3 percent.
Wu described China's current economic status as "OK" but indicated that warning signs to watch for would be rising unemployment and "popular discontent." Wu warned that a rapidly sliding Chinese economy could lead to questions over President Xi Jinping's (習近平) legitimacy.
Such a scenario would be "a factor that might cause the Chinese leaders to decide to take an external action to divert domestic attention," Wu said. He added that China's increasingly aggressive military posture in the region has already become a "very serious" source of tensions.
Nevertheless, the minister said that Taiwan is doing everything in its power to avoid a military confrontation with its massive neighbor. "We certainly hope that Taiwan and China can live peacefully together, but we also see that there are problems caused by China, and we will try to deal with them," Wu stated.