The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday urged China to behave in a way appropriate for a world power and not try to block Taiwanese officials from participating in international activities.
Ministry spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) made the call while expressing dissatisfaction over pressure from China that led to a Taiwanese delegation being barred at the last minute from attending the Jakarta International Defense Dialogue (JIDD) in Indonesia last week.
The government had planned to send two academics and two officials from the representative office in Jakarta to participate in the two-day defense forum.
However, the delegation was forced to pull out at the last minute after Beijing lodged a protest with the Indonesian government about Taiwan’s presence, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said at a legislative session on Monday.
The third JIDD, with the theme “Defense and Diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific Region,” was attended by about 500 people from 45 countries. US Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter was among the attendees, according to the US Department of Defense’s Web site.
Indonesia hosted the first JIDD in 2011 as a platform for security dialogue in East Asia at a level similar to that of the Shangri-La Dialogue, also known as the Asia Security Summit, which is held annually in Singapore.
Taiwan tried to attend the first JIDD forum, but was not accepted. However, last year Taiwan was invited by the Indonesian Thinktank to participate in the second forum.
Ma Chen-kun (馬振坤), an expert on the Chinese military from the National Defense University, represented Taiwan at the second forum, which was attended by delegations from 37 countries.
Lo said that as China continues to purchase arms from Russia and develop its own weapons, an increasing imbalance of military power is building across the Taiwan Strait, posing a stiffer challenge for Taiwan in its national defense.
The defense ministry will not compete militarily with China, but will make good use of its defense budget, resources and asymmetric warfare tactics to deter China from launching a war against Taiwan, Lo said.