China condemned for stopping US officials visiting Taiwan

Ministry of Foreign Affairs slams Beijing’s continual meddling in Taiwan's affairs

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MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou (MOFA photo)

MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou (MOFA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Wednesday (July 8) blasted China for pressuring U.S. officials against visiting Taiwan and called on the international community to resist Beijing’s unreasonable demands.

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday (July 7) gave an address at the Hudson Institute in Washington, during which he outlined the various ways China influences U.S. officials and lawmakers from visiting Taiwan. MOFA said the nation strongly condemns the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) gross interference in the diplomatic and business relations between Taiwan and foreign governments.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said on Wednesday night that the CCP is unscrupulous in its suppression of Taiwan and its allies. She added that not only do Beijing’s actions harm cross-strait ties, they also harden Taiwanese people’s attitudes against China.

Ou said Taiwan’s achievements in terms of its democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law have all received accolades internationally. This is a fact the Chinese government cannot suppress, she added.

During the FBI director’s speech, he outlined China’s use of “malign foreign influence” to prevent U.S. officials from going to Taiwan. In addition to using bribery, blackmail, and covert deals, Beijing also uses economic pressure and independent middlemen to push their agenda, Wray said.

According to the director, when China learns that a U.S. official plans to visit Taiwan, they leverage the official’s constituents — such as American companies, academics, and members of the media who want access to Chinese partners and markets — to pressure the official to cancel his or her travel plans. If those methods fail, Beijing resorts to indirect, covert, and deceptive means to sway the officials, according to Wray.