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Taiwan foreign minister says China expanding influence beyond first island chain

Joseph Wu accuses Beijing of exerting control over Solomon Islands, Kiribati through debt traps

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) called on the international community to pay attention to Beijing’s true intentions and said that China is trying to expand its influence beyond the first island chain.

In an interview with The Australian on Wednesday (June 9), Wu discussed the current state of cross-strait relations and China’s expansion in the Indo-Pacific, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The foreign minister said that Taiwan’s values of democracy and freedom are in sharp contrast with China’s totalitarianism, adding that Taiwan is at the forefront of the communist nation’s expansion. Beijing continues to employ military threats, disinformation, hybrid warfare, economic coercion, and political isolation in the run-up to an invasion of Taiwan, CNA quoted him as saying.

Wu said the People's Republic of China has never controlled Taiwan, pointing out that the latter has its own democratically elected government, military, diplomatic relations, and currency. He said that the nation will continue to strengthen its defense capabilities and increase cooperation with like-minded countries to counter Chinese aggression.

The foreign minister called on the international community to pay attention to Beijing’s motives as it attempts to expand past the first island chain. He added that China is trying to exert control over the Solomon Islands and Kiribati because of their strategic location.

Beijing is involved in local corruption and using debt traps to make these countries become dependent on it, Wu said.

Updated : 2021-07-30 07:26 GMT+08:00