Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told the Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Tuesday that Taiwan is calling upon the U.S. and “other like-minded countries” for assistance in building its defense against China, as the island anticipates that a future war with Beijing could break out within the next few years.
Taiwan is a democratically-ruled sovereign state that China considers a breakaway territory and has vowed to retake by force, if necessary. The island, located off China’s southeastern coast, also operates its own military. Democratic tensions between the two parties have intensified in recent months as China has ramped up military drills designed to intimidate Taiwan by violating its sovereign waters and airspace.
Wu told ABC on Tuesday the “risk” for a future conflict between China and Taiwan is “much higher than before” based on Beijing’s increased military aggression toward the island.
“The tension is rising and Taiwan is feeling the heat,” he told Australia’s national broadcaster.
“If you look at the Chinese military activities around Taiwan, it’s been intensifying. There were several times [recently] that the Chinese jet fighters crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait,” the foreign minister noted.
“The median line of the Taiwan Strait has been safeguarding peace and stability and status quo for decades and this is something that we really worry about,” Wu added.
“Because of the … rising threat, we have been trying to stay as a very moderate and a very responsible actor in the region so that China does not have any excuse to launch an attack against Taiwan,” he explained.
When asked whether a possible war between China and Taiwan would involve other countries, Wu replied, “We cannot rule out that possibility.”
Taiwan: China Flooded Twitter with Fake ‘Taiwanese’ Apologies to WHO Chief https://t.co/PtROtsCidE
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“I cannot predict that the war is going to take place next year or the year after, things like that, but if you look at the preparation on the Chinese side, we have to be very concerned about the real prospect of China launching a military attack against Taiwan,” the foreign minister said.
“What we are asking is that the United States or other like-minded countries can provide Taiwan with what we are able to defend ourselves, like defensive articles [sic],” he proposed.
“[W]e certainly hope that Taiwan and the United States and other like-minded countries can exchange further on the intelligence or information about what we have on China, because what we know on China, what we see on China may not be enough. And we need constant effort in exchanging with other countries,” Wu revealed.