Taiwan should “trust, but verify” reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) denied that Beijing plans to invade Taiwan in 2027, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice presidential candidate Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) told reporters yesterday.
“We anticipate and we hope that Chairman Xi Jinping was sincere when he said there was no timetable” for bringing Taiwan under control by force, said Hsiao, who earlier this week resigned as the representative to the US to join the ticket of DPP nominee, Vice President William Lai (賴清德).
Borrowing a phrase from former US president Ronald Reagan — which US President Joe Biden also used after his bilateral meeting with Xi in San Francisco on Wednesday last week — Hsiao said that Taiwan should “trust, but verify.”
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
A senior US administration official cited Xi as denying reports that China planned to take military action against Taiwan in 2027 or 2035 during last week’s bilateral meeting.
However, Xi also laid out the conditions under which force could be used, the official said, without specifying what those conditions were.
While the future Lai administration would welcome every opportunity to work with Beijing to maintain the “status quo,” Taiwan needs to continue building up its capability so as to deal with cross-strait relations with more confidence, Hsiao said.
Hsiao alluded to a “four-pillar plan” for peace proposed by Lai, with Taiwan boosting its defense capability and economic security, while seeking international partnerships and “principled and pragmatic” cross-strait relations.
The plan was modeled on the policy of outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), with whom Beijing has refused to establish official contact, despite repeated requests during her eight years in office.
However, with Beijing labeling Lai and Hsiao as “separatists,” Hsiao was asked how the DPP ticket aims to resume government-to-government talks if elected in January.
Hsiao reiterated that they “remain open to dialogue” and would be “committed to the status quo.”
“It’s also important that [those in] the international community who agree with our position in continuing peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait make clear to our counterpart across the Taiwan Strait that dialogue is the only way to resolve differences,” Hsiao said.
“War is not an option,” she added.
When it comes to the US, Taiwan has to forge unified and bipartisan support, Hsiao said, adding that expanding broad support among Americans was critical.
“American support to Taiwan cannot be limited to the beltway,” Hsiao said, referring to the Washington political scene. “A rock solid partnership with the United States is critically important right now.”
Speaking of her decision to join Lai’s ticket, Hsiao, who had served four non-consecutive terms as a legislator prior to being posted to Washington in 2020, acknowledged having “tremendous hesitation” about returning to Taiwan and getting involved again in domestic politics.
While such a decision was “not an easy one,” Hsiao said that her alliance with Lai was forged based on their shared commitment to preserve Taiwan’s freedom and democracy.
Additional reporting by Reuters
‘A DISASTER’: A successful Chinese attack on Taiwan would undermine the credibility of US security guarantees and could result in a global depression, three experts wrote A Chinese takeover of Taiwan would be a geopolitical catastrophe for the US and its allies, one that would overshadow almost all others over the next decade, US policy experts said. Andrew Erickson, a professor of strategy in the US Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute; Gabriel Collins, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy; and former US deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger issued the warning in an article published on Friday in Foreign Affairs. Bejing’s invasion or annexation of Taiwan “would be a disaster of utmost importance to the United States, and I am convinced that
Taiwanese businesspeople’s investments in China last year hit a record low of 11.4 percent of total foreign investment, the Mainland Affairs Council said yesterday. The number was a huge decline from 83.8 percent in 2010, mainly because Taiwanese businesspeople have been diversifying their investments globally over the past few years, with great success, the council said. From 1991 to last year, 45,523 Taiwanese investments in China totaling US$206.37 billion had been approved, accounting for 50.7 percent of overall foreign investment, data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission showed. The amount and proportion of Taiwanese investments in China has been declining, with
Taiwanese tourists on board a Kinmen cruise ship had a scare yesterday when it was intercepted by Chinese coast guards who forcefully boarded the vessel to inspect it. The Sunrise, a tourism ferry that operates between Kinmen and Xiamen, China, was sailing around the waters around the islets of Dadan (大膽) and Erdan (二膽) — both of which are part of Kinmen County — yesterday afternoon when it encountered personnel from China’s Fujian Coast Guard Bureau. China Coast Guard personnel forced their way on board and conducted an inspection for about 30 minutes before leaving, local media cited the tourists as saying. The
SEEKING CALM: The US called for maintaining the ‘status quo,’ while the Ministry of National Defense said it would not bolster defenses in the area to avoid raising tensions Taiwanese should have greater faith in the government’s investigation into the capsizing of a Chinese vessel that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday, adding that Taiwan abides by the rule of law. On Wednesday last week, a Chinese speedboat was spotted trespassing in “prohibited” waters within 1.1 nautical miles (2km) of the east coast of Kinmen. It fled after refusing the coast guard’s request to board the vessel, setting off a chase that led to the boat capsizing, with two Chinese fishers dying. Two survivors were deported back to China