TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said Thursday (Sept. 17) that Taiwan stands on the front line of democracy and is likely China's next target after Hong Kong.
During an interview with France 24, Wu was asked to share his thoughts on Beijing's plan to take Taiwan by force and the likelihood of a cross-strait war. He explained that Taiwan has survived for decades despite China's military threats, but Beijing's growing military reach has raised security concerns among Taiwanese officials.
Wu said China has conducted numerous military exercises simulating an attack on Taiwan since last year and its fighter jets have entered the country's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) more than 30 times. He said the Ministry of National Defense (MND) has been busy strengthening the country's ability to thwart a Chinese invasion, but more support from the international community is needed to hamper China's expansion.
Wu admitted that a cross-strait war is possible and a small conflict between China and other countries could develop into large-scale war. He said Taiwan is not China's only target as the communist country is also threatening stability in the East and South China Seas.
Meanwhile, the foreign minister expressed gratitude for the U.S. government's efforts in the East Asian region. He also noted that European nations are gradually shifting their attitude toward Taiwan and said more governments have advocated for its participation in global affairs.
As for Beijing's continued crackdown on Hong Kong activists, Wu said many Taiwanese worry they will soon face the same fate. He said the country is determined to defend its democratic way of life and governments with the same values should step up efforts to prevent China's military trajectory, reported CNA.