TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) warned that China appears to be preparing for a final assault on Taiwan and although Beijing will not invade immediately military confrontation is a real possibility, Wu has told the Australian Financial Review (AFR).
Wu on Wednesday (May 5) told AFR that China is committed to isolating Taiwan from the international community through disinformation campaigns and hybrid warfare. This seems to be part of Beijing’s preparations for a final assault on Taiwan, he said.
The foreign minister clarified his statement, saying there is no impending war between Taiwan and China as of yet. However, Taiwan must prepare for one, he said.
Wu mentioned the Ministry of National Defense is gearing up for a possible conflict with China, as is the entire Taiwanese government. Given these developments, the foreign minister emphasized that democratic countries with common values should form an alliance and help defend Taiwan.
Australia’s interests in the Indo-Pacific are also at stake as China expands its power in the region, he said. Wu criticized Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s rhetoric, saying Taiwan does not want to see China’s totalitarian expansionist order replicated in its borders, but this is exactly what Beijing wants to do.
The foreign minister mentioned that Australia believes in the ideals of freedom, democracy, and the protection of human rights. Since Australia and Taiwan share common values, Wu said that he believes Australians will think speaking up for Taiwan is a good thing.
Wu also called on Australia and Taiwan to strengthen economic ties and restart talks on a free trade agreement. He said that Taiwan may apply to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership this year.
As for the possibility of military cooperation between Australia and Taiwan, the foreign minister declined to elaborate. He stated that allies such as the U.S., Australia, and Japan have expressed their willingness to respond to China's aggressive foreign policy. Wu added that although China continues to intimidate Taiwan with military force, China will likely not take immediate action.
When asked whether senior Taiwan officials have ever met with senior Australian leaders, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison or Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Wu only mentioned that Taiwan is in contact with some Australian government officials.
The foreign minister concluded by saying Taiwan hopes Australia can provide substantial support for its participation in the international community.