China remains the No. 1 threat to Taiwan, even though it is also the nation’s biggest opportunity, Representative to the US Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡) said on Thursday.
Shen, who heads the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington, was addressing the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.
“China gives us better treatment for political reasons; they give our investors very good benefits,” he said.
“We need to minimize the stress and maximize the opportunity,” Shen said.
He said that Taiwan would “never, never, never do anything to increase US difficulties with China.”
As the largest single external source of knowledge about China, he said that Taiwan would always be ready to help Washington in its relations with Beijing.
“We can share information and we can help each other,” he said.
“I tell my American friends: ‘If you really want to get into the China market, the best gateway is through Taiwan,’” Shen said.
He was asked if China caused problems in Taiwan by staging cyberattacks, stealing trade secrets and using “blackmail and extortion” to extract valuable information from people with families in China.
“The answer is yes,” Shen said.
He said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site had 3,000 cyberattacks in one two-week period.
China used special “Web site police” to control and manipulate and stage cyberwarfare, Shen said.
“This is another place where we can help each other,” he said.
“You couldn’t find a better country than Taiwan that knows about Chinese cyberwarfare,” Shen said.
“They have ways to hack you and control you, it’s a highly technical question,” he said. “We have our own special offices to stay in close touch with our US counterparts.”
“I still trust the old ways, I am conservative. I don’t trust e-mail. I have told my colleagues to presume that every phone call and every e-mail is tapped. We have to presume that someone is watching all the time. You don’t know from where,” he said.
Referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) visit to the US next month, Shen said: “We just hope that he will not do anything to hurt Taiwan.”
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