Tue, Feb 24, 2015 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: Lu promotes closer Japan relations

Liberty Times (LT): What is the main purpose of your visit?

Annette Lu (呂秀蓮): This year marks the 120th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki and the 70th anniversary of Taiwan’s liberation from its annexation by Japan. In this critical year for Taiwan’s future, I have come to Japan to talk with individuals who are concerned about how Taiwan is to position itself amid rising tensions in East Asia.

Given that both Japan and Taiwan are under the pressure of China’s rising global influence, the fact that the US has deliberately ignored Taiwan’s existence, while seeking to regain political influence in Asia, has prompted Japan to keep a close watch on Taiwan’s role in the region.

With a presidential election scheduled next year, each candidate should inform voters of which direction they will lead Taiwan, and both Taiwan and Japan should develop plans to prevent Beijing from intervening in the election, as the result could affect the political situation across the whole of East Asia.

LT: Can you elaborate on the idea of a “neutral and peaceful Taiwan”?

Lu: Taiwan needs to raise its profile in the international community. We need to send a message to the world that we are not a troublemaker, but the center of the “first island chain.”

The US, Japan and Taiwan should think about what impact it will create if China takes control of Taiwan.

If China seizes Taiwan, Beijing would be able to use Taiwan’s strategic position to its advantage to make the waters off the first and second island chains part of its inner sea, and China would transform from an inland superpower to a thalassocracy, thereby challenging the US’ and Japan’s supremacy in the region.

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