Taipei/Beijing/Canberra: As he challenged China’s ‘One China Policy’, Taiwan’s Vice President Lai Ching-te said, ‘Taiwan is a sovereign country and is not subordinate to China. Therefore, no one else but the 23 million people of Taiwan are independent to decide the future of the nation as they are entitled to do so.” At the same time, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry official warned China that Taiwan had the weapons to retaliate if it invaded their country.
The Global Taiwan National Affairs Symposium was held in Taiwan on Sunday. Vice President Lai Ching-te lashed out at China while speaking at the symposium. He launched stinging criticism at Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying human rights abuse has peaked in the Chinese regime, which lays stress on its ‘One China, Two Systems’ policy. To make his point, Lai mentioned China’s atrocities against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province and its crackdown against the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
Furthermore, the suggestion that Taiwan should not be referred to internationally as “Republic of China” but as “Republic of Taiwan” was put forth during the symposium. The Taiwanese government believes such a decision will make it easier for other countries to cooperate with Taiwan, claiming that it would also deal blows to the ‘One China, Two Systems’ framework.
China claims Taiwan as a part of its territory. Former Chinese military officials and analysts have called on President Xi to take military action to seize control of Taiwan. For the past three months, China’s communist regime has been signalling at taking such action. Two days ago, the Chinese president launched three new warships, including an amphibious assault ship. Chinese media say the warship could be used against Taiwan.
Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton warned that “China could declare war on Taiwan. China has repeatedly announced its intention to annex Taiwan, and one cannot deny the possibility of China taking military action against Taiwan,” Dutton said. A few days ago, senior Australian military officials also warned that China could launch an attack on Taiwan in the near future. The Australian official further said it would have far-reaching effects on the Indo-Pacific.
Meanwhile, “We are completely prepared to respond if the Chinese army infiltrates our borders. Taiwan has the arsenal to retaliate to China,” Lee Shih-Chiang, head of the Ministry of National Defense’s (MND’s) Department of Strategic Planning, said.