Posted: Monday, August 8, 2022. 4:13 pm CST.
By Alexis Milán: Following a recent tour by United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Eastern Asia and specifically following her visit to the Republic of China (Taiwan), mainland China has increased aggression toward the island nation which Belize maintains decades of diplomacy with. Speaking exclusively with Breaking Belize News, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize H.E. David Chien shared how the increased aggression is affecting the stability of the region and indeed the world.
The US congressional delegation led by House Speaker Pelosi arrived in Taipei on August 2nd, and departed on August 3rd, spending a total of 19-hours in the country. Ambassador Chien called her visit “a very successful one.”
During her stay in Taiwan, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen met with Speaker Pelosi. “The delegation also called on Legislative Yuan and met with our cross-party legislators. Speaker Pelosi along with the delegation visited the National Human Rights Museum and participated in a round-table discussion with the representatives of our National Human Rights Commission, Control Yuan, and Taiwan’s civil groups.”
China, however, reacted to Pelosi’s visit negatively, calling it a violation of China’s so-called “One China” policy which maintains a territorial claim over the independent island nation.
“Right after Speaker Pelosi’s departure on August 4th, China declared 5 days of military exercises in 7 designated zones surrounding Taiwan and executed live-fire drills, where some of the areas are Taiwan’s territorial waters, and warned other ships and aircrafts not to enter the aforementioned zones. It is totally against international regulations,” Ambassador Chien explained.
“Moreover, on August 4th, China launched at least 11 multiple ballistic missiles into the waters near Taiwan’s coast. These provocative and irresponsible actions are not only threatening Taiwan’s security and sovereignty, but also affecting regular air and maritime transportation, as well as international trade, which cause a serious impact on the peace and stability of the region also the world,” the Ambassador further stressed.
Ambassador Chien called China’s reaction to Speaker Pelosi’s visit unreasonable and irresponsible.
“We reiterate that the Republic of China (Taiwan) is an independent, sovereign country. The fact that neither the Republic of China (Taiwan) nor the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is subordinate to the other is both an internationally recognized fact and the long-term status quo across the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan has the right to interact with the world and welcomes friends who support freedom and democracy to visit Taiwan, which should not be interfered by other countries,” the Ambassador elaborated.
“The government of Taiwan condemns PRC’s irresponsible military act that stirs up tensions in the Indo-Pacific region and we demand Beijing to act with greater self-restraint. We don’t want war, but we won’t back down. We will defend our sovereignty and commit to investing in our self-defenses, in fortifying our asymmetric capabilities, in reforming our reserves, in better integrating civilian support in our homeland defenses,” Ambassador Chien advised.
Taiwan maintains that China’s live-fire drills near Taiwan pose a serious military threat to Taiwan and the international community, and urges China to act with reason and exercise restraint.
“Taiwan will neither escalate the conflicts nor instigate the disputes. The Taiwanese government is determined to defend its democracy and freedom in the face of China’s authoritarian and hegemonic aggression,” Ambassador Chien shared with Breaking Belize News.
“In addition, Taiwan is one of the powerhouses in the global economy and an indispensable member of the democratic camp. As a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan is working to maintain peace, stability, and security in the world. We call on our allies and like-minded countries to stand with Taiwan to safeguard the value of democracy and freedom. China’s coercion to Taiwan should be condemned.”
Ambassador Chien also expressed gratitude for the unwavering diplomatic and international support for Taiwan given by Belize. “I would like to thank the government of Belize led by Hon. John Bricenõ, Prime Minister, for the prompt support and reaffirming to strengthen the strong and close bilateral relationships between Belize and Taiwan,” he expressed.
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