Taiwan President Affirms the Island’s Global Standing as Beijing Continues to Isolate Taipei

Taiwan President Lai Ching-te dismissed suggestions that Taiwan’s standing in the world would be diminished after the island lost another diplomatic ally to Beijing earlier this year.“In the case that our diplomatic allies decide to switch allegiances to the People’s Republic of China, while we wish them well, such harmful actions by the PRC will not affect Taiwan’s status as a beacon of freedom and a bastion of democracy in the world,” Mr. Lai said, referring to China’s official name, the People’s Republic of China. “We are not deeply worried.”The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long sought to isolate Taiwan on the global stage as part of its broad efforts to force the self-ruled island into giving up its sovereignty and accepting the Party’s rule. These efforts have intensified since 2016, when Tsai Ing-wen began the first of her two terms in office as a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which the Chinese regime has branded as “separatist.”Taiwan has lost 10 diplomatic allies to China since 2016, including Panama, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, the Solomon Islands, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Nauru’s decision leaves Taiwan with 12 diplomatic allies, including Eswatini, Haiti, Paraguay, and the Vatican.Related StoriesMr. Lai, also a DPP member, said that Taiwan has worked with its diplomatic allies “in a sincere way” based on the principles of “mutual benefit and reciprocity.”“We cherish the friendships with our diplomatic allies and thank them for voicing support for Taiwan in the international community,” Mr. Lai said. “We also greatly value the cooperation projects we have with our diplomatic allies because these help the people of both countries.”In past years, Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, as well as the island’s partners such as Japan and the United States, have spoken out in favor of the island’s bid to attend the World Health Organization’s annual assembly. Taiwan is excluded from many global organizations due to the Chinese regime’s opposition.The CCP’s territorial claims over Taiwan are void, as China has never governed the island. Taiwan is a de-facto independent nation with its own democratically elected officials, constitution, currency, and military.‘Independent Country’Mr. Lai also addressed questions about his inauguration speech on May 20, particularly over his comment that China and Taiwan “are not subordinate to each other.” He was asked whether the statement was “unnecessarily provocative in hindsight,” given China launched two-day military drills around Taiwan three days after his speech.“What I said was the truth. … I stated this in accordance with Articles 2 and 3 of the ROC Constitution, given that [in] Taiwan we have our own people, land, sovereignty, and government,” Mr. Lai told Time, referring to Taiwan’s official name, the Republic of China.“According to international law, we are already a sovereign and independent country,” he added.The Chinese regime described its military drills as “punishment” for “separatist acts,” testing its military capabilities to “seize power” in the self-ruling island.This is not the first time a sitting Taiwan president has openly declared the island’s independence. In an interview with BBC in 2020, then-President Tsai said, “We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China.”In January 2023, a group of lawmakers led by Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) introduced a resolution calling on the Biden administration to end the U.S. government’s “One China” policy and formally recognize Taiwan’s status as an independent nation.The United States broke off diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979 in favor of communist China, but it is the island’s biggest arms supplier.Mr. Lai was asked whether he was worried that CCP leader Xi Jinping “is becoming emboldened and impatient about resolving the so-called Taiwan issue.”“Peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait are indispensable elements of global peace and prosperity,” Mr. Lai told Time. “We will neither yield nor provoke. We will maintain the status quo and fulfill our responsibilities.“I invite President Xi to jointly shoulder with us the responsibility of maintaining peace and stability, building regional prosperity, and advancing world peace,” he added.CIA Director William Burns and Adm. John Aquilino, former commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, have both said that Xi has instructed the Chinese military to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027.Mr. Lai also offered to assist China in reviving its troubled economy, which is mired in weak consumer demand, a real estate downturn, and a grim labor market.“Even as China’s economy has continued to decline, Taiwan’s economy has continued to grow and has not been affected by China,” Mr. Lai said. “Taiwan’s new government is willing to assist China and advance peace and prosperity across the Taiwan Strait.”

Taiwan President Affirms the Island’s Global Standing as Beijing Continues to Isolate Taipei

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Taiwan President Lai Ching-te dismissed suggestions that Taiwan’s standing in the world would be diminished after the island lost another diplomatic ally to Beijing earlier this year.

“In the case that our diplomatic allies decide to switch allegiances to the People’s Republic of China, while we wish them well, such harmful actions by the PRC will not affect Taiwan’s status as a beacon of freedom and a bastion of democracy in the world,” Mr. Lai said, referring to China’s official name, the People’s Republic of China. “We are not deeply worried.”

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long sought to isolate Taiwan on the global stage as part of its broad efforts to force the self-ruled island into giving up its sovereignty and accepting the Party’s rule. These efforts have intensified since 2016, when Tsai Ing-wen began the first of her two terms in office as a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which the Chinese regime has branded as “separatist.”

Taiwan has lost 10 diplomatic allies to China since 2016, including Panama, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, the Solomon Islands, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Nauru’s decision leaves Taiwan with 12 diplomatic allies, including Eswatini, Haiti, Paraguay, and the Vatican.

Mr. Lai, also a DPP member, said that Taiwan has worked with its diplomatic allies “in a sincere way” based on the principles of “mutual benefit and reciprocity.”

“We cherish the friendships with our diplomatic allies and thank them for voicing support for Taiwan in the international community,” Mr. Lai said. “We also greatly value the cooperation projects we have with our diplomatic allies because these help the people of both countries.”

In past years, Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, as well as the island’s partners such as Japan and the United States, have spoken out in favor of the island’s bid to attend the World Health Organization’s annual assembly. Taiwan is excluded from many global organizations due to the Chinese regime’s opposition.
The CCP’s territorial claims over Taiwan are void, as China has never governed the island. Taiwan is a de-facto independent nation with its own democratically elected officials, constitution, currency, and military.
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‘Independent Country’

Mr. Lai also addressed questions about his inauguration speech on May 20, particularly over his comment that China and Taiwan “are not subordinate to each other.” He was asked whether the statement was “unnecessarily provocative in hindsight,” given China launched two-day military drills around Taiwan three days after his speech.

“What I said was the truth. … I stated this in accordance with Articles 2 and 3 of the ROC Constitution, given that [in] Taiwan we have our own people, land, sovereignty, and government,” Mr. Lai told Time, referring to Taiwan’s official name, the Republic of China.

“According to international law, we are already a sovereign and independent country,” he added.

The Chinese regime described its military drills as “punishment” for “separatist acts,” testing its military capabilities to “seize power” in the self-ruling island.
This is not the first time a sitting Taiwan president has openly declared the island’s independence. In an interview with BBC in 2020, then-President Tsai said, “We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China.”
In January 2023, a group of lawmakers led by Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) introduced a resolution calling on the Biden administration to end the U.S. government’s “One China” policy and formally recognize Taiwan’s status as an independent nation.

The United States broke off diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979 in favor of communist China, but it is the island’s biggest arms supplier.

Mr. Lai was asked whether he was worried that CCP leader Xi Jinping “is becoming emboldened and impatient about resolving the so-called Taiwan issue.”

“Peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait are indispensable elements of global peace and prosperity,” Mr. Lai told Time. “We will neither yield nor provoke. We will maintain the status quo and fulfill our responsibilities.

“I invite President Xi to jointly shoulder with us the responsibility of maintaining peace and stability, building regional prosperity, and advancing world peace,” he added.

CIA Director William Burns and Adm. John Aquilino, former commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, have both said that Xi has instructed the Chinese military to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027.
Mr. Lai also offered to assist China in reviving its troubled economy, which is mired in weak consumer demand, a real estate downturn, and a grim labor market.

“Even as China’s economy has continued to decline, Taiwan’s economy has continued to grow and has not been affected by China,” Mr. Lai said. “Taiwan’s new government is willing to assist China and advance peace and prosperity across the Taiwan Strait.”

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