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Foreign minister claims China scapegoating Taiwan to distract from domestic problems

Joseph Wu discussed relations with Beijing, Washington in interview with PBS

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs photo)

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) told PBS Wednesday (May 26) that China is preparing for a war against the nation in order to distract Chinese from domestic problems.

In the PBS interview, Wu pointed out that last year the People's Liberation Army Air Force conducted approximately 2,900 sorties near Taiwan, with most rarely crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait. He added that Beijing is also trying to “squeeze” Taiwan out of international organizations and block it from gaining international recognition.

The foreign minister said China is also engaging in cognitive warfare, using cyberattacks and disinformation to disrupt Taiwan’s democratic process by attempting to cause tension between the government and the public or create distrust between Taipei and Washington.

When asked if Taiwan is getting better at defending itself, Wu said the nation’s defensive capabilities are improving, but he acknowledged the vast gap in military power between Taiwan and China. “Therefore, we are assessing the kinds of situation[s] that we need to be in and trying to prepare ourselves for it,” he said.

The minister added: “We understand our own responsibility as a front-line state guarding against the expansion of authoritarianism.” Wu claimed Beijing is using Taiwan as a scapegoat to divert attention from its own domestic failures, which is why it is increasing its military operations in the area.

Regarding Taiwan-U.S. strategic relations, Wu said the level of bilateral exchanges on military and defense issues has been unprecedented. The U.S. is getting more serious about the situation in the Taiwan Strait, he claimed.

Wu mentioned that recently, American Navy ships have either patrolled nearby or sailed through the strait at least once a month. He describing this as “a very strong determination of the United States to show its presence.”

Furthermore, he said the Biden administration has reassured Taiwan that the relations have been rock-solid, provided the nation with verbal support, and encouraged like-minded countries like Australia and South Korea as well as Japan and other G7 countries to do the same.