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Foreign ministry dispels reports of Taiwan joining US nuclear umbrella

Foreign minister nevertheless confirms there have been talks about nuclear umbrella

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. 

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Friday (May 26) hit back at media reports distorting Foreign Minister Joseph Wu’s (吳釗燮) statements about Taiwan and the U.S. nuclear umbrella.

On May 22, Wu confirmed there had been talks about whether the U.S. would include Taiwan under its nuclear umbrella, but did not go into further detail. The nuclear umbrella is a promise by a nuclear weapons state to provide security for a non-nuclear weapons state.

MOFA accused some media outlets of “misinterpreting the original intent and deliberately creating an impression of discord among government officials.”

“Their attempts to sow discord and undermine public confidence in the government from within are deeply regrettable,” it added.

The ministry said some media outlets have long disseminated misinformation without verification, intentionally distorting the public statements of Taiwanese and American security officials, and spreading false information. They consider U.S. assistance in strengthening Taiwan's self-defense capabilities as a provocation and view China's threats to Taiwan from Beijing’s perspective as a given, it said.

This cherry-picking of statements and malicious misinterpretation deliberately confuses public perception, damages Taiwan-U.S. relations and undermines the determination of the Taiwanese in their external affairs, MOFA said. It urged the public to put an effort into discerning right from wrong in media reports.

Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and NATO countries all fall under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. During the Cold War, Taiwan secretly launched its own research program to develop its own nuclear weapons. However, due to U.S. pressure, it ultimately halted all efforts.

Institute for National Defense and Security Research Director Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲) recently said that Taiwan's policy is to refrain from developing weapons of mass destruction or nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. However, if partner countries are willing to include Taiwan under a nuclear umbrella, it would serve as an extended form of deterrence, he said, adding that it would also greatly boost Taiwan's security and provide additional protection.