Taiwan must demonstrate that it is serious about its defense, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said on Thursday in Washington.
“I guarantee you, a future DPP government will be fully committed to Taiwan’s self-defense,” Su told the Brookings Institution.
He said that US-Taiwan relations needed to be rebalanced and that Taipei should not ask what the US could do for Taiwan, but rather ask what Taiwan could do to earn Washington’s support.
“Democracy and security do not fall from heaven — they come with a cost,” he said.
“In the past few years, the cross-strait military imbalance has become more serious, but Taiwan’s investment in defense is growing smaller. It is time for us to demonstrate that we are serious,” Su added.
The DPP had always considered the US to be Taiwan’s most important democratic, security and economic partner, Su said.
Peppered with questions about how the DPP would handle cross-strait relations, Su said it would not provoke Beijing.
“We understand that China is getting stronger and stronger, and people are doing business across the Taiwan Strait and we support that,” he said.
Stressing that he was both principled and pragmatic, Su said the sovereignty of Taiwan could not be negotiated.
“We look forward to good relations and friendship with China,” he said.
However, at the same time Su said that China should shoulder more international and regional responsibilities, and be more conducive to regional peace and stability.
“We urge the PRC [People’s Republic of China] not to push Taiwan into a corner,” Su said. “Taiwan definitely needs to reinforce its self-defense capabilities — the idea is to safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and the people’s security.”
Taipei must maintain a minimum capability and demonstrate determination that if China attacks Taiwan it will “pay a huge price,” he said.
A minimum defense budget — higher than the current budget — has to be maintained to ensure that Taiwan could survive an attack, he said.
Su said there was no need for China to target a large number of missiles at Taiwan and that if Beijing really wanted to win Taiwanese hearts and minds it should use goodwill and sincerity.
He said he was conducting “very candid” discussions in Washington and had assured the US that under a DPP administration there would be “no surprises” and policies would be consistent.
“The DPP will be responsible, but we will not give up on principles,” he said. “I have made tremendous efforts to show that the DPP is credible in cross-strait relations.”
Su said China had never given up its goal to lock Taiwan into a “one China” framework. The more China tried to pressure Taiwan, the more it would find the nation to be like a seagull on a beach.
“The more you try to catch it, the more it will fly away,” he said.
Su said that Taiwan needs to open its markets to the world and engage in a series of structural reforms.
“We should promote more efficiency in government to attract more investment,” he said.
Yesterday, Su was scheduled to formally open the new DPP offices in Washington and attend a banquet organized by the American-Taiwanese community.
“History has left its imprint and the DPP has to work hard to regain the confidence of our international friends,” Su said.
He said that many inside and outside of Taiwan do not really understand the DPP.
“Even though our policy principles are sound and in line with Taiwan’s majority, there seems to be a gap in perception,” Su said. “I know this is what we need to overcome if the DPP is to make a comeback.”
Taiwan, he said, is a sovereign country and any change must be approved by democratic means, such as a referendum.
“Taiwan should engage a rising China with self-confidence,” Su said. “We should not only pursue interaction and dialogue with the Chinese government, but also the Chinese people. More interaction means more mutual understanding and less distrust.”
There is no such thing as a “magic formula” to resolve all cross-strait differences, he said.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday issued a rebuttal to former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who said a fistfight in the Legislative Yuan might have been “provoked from the outside” to destabilize Taiwan. Rice made the comment in an online discussion about the AUKUS alliance of Australia, the UK and the US hosted by the Policy Exchange forum in London on Thursday. On mention of Taiwan, she was quoted by The Australian as predicting that Beijing would use paramilitary forces and acts of sabotage to destabilize the nation. “There was a fistfight in the Taiwanese parliament a few weeks ago
A Taiwanese YouTuber suspected of creating and selling deepfake porn videos featuring more than 100 politicians and influencers was on Monday released on bail after being arrested the previous day. Chu Yu-chen (朱玉宸), 26, who uses the name Xiaoyu (小玉) on YouTube, was arrested on Sunday in New Taipei City, along with two suspected accomplices, a 24-year-old YouTuber surnamed Yeh (耶), known as Shaiw Shaiw (笑笑), and a 22-year-old man Chuang (莊). The three suspects were on Monday escorted to the New Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for further questioning on suspicion of distributing obscene videos and publicly insulting others, in contravention of
CHINA WORRIES: A source said the AIT held a meeting at which Taiwan lawmakers and US officials discussed expediting shipments of arms that were paid for Taiwanese officials have reportedly reached out to the US to discuss the possibility of expediting the delivery of F-16 jets to Taiwan, CNN said on Friday. While the “Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific Command has watched with increasing concern as China has rapidly modernized its military and improved its training with an eye to Taiwan,” the US Department of State is wary of taking a more aggressive stance against China, a CNN report said. US President Joe Biden’s “administration has discussed with Taiwanese officials the possibility of expediting the delivery of American-made F-16s to Taiwan, according to Taiwanese and US officials familiar with the talks,”
FAMILY: While the CECC agrees ‘in principle’ to allowing entry to foreign spouses and children of foreigners in Taiwan with a residence permit, the issue is still being reviewed A nationwide level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended for two weeks until Nov. 1, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, adding that agencies are still discussing whether to allow foreign spouses and children of foreigners in Taiwan with a residence permit to enter the nation. “In principle we agree to relaxing the entry regulations for the group, but relevant agencies are still reviewing and discussing the matter,” said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The center on Sept. 13 eased border restrictions for foreign dependents of Taiwanese nationals. They can apply