“We have to be prepared”: Taiwan’s FM says amid mounting military threats from China

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Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told CNN that his country “needs to prepare” for a probable security conflict as China’s military aggression grows.

Wu’s caution followed the report that the island was entered by Chinese military planes, reaching the largest number daily. The entry was specifically recorded at the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) independently declared by Taiwan.

The China’s People’s Liberation Army’s strength was demonstrated in the incursion of 28 Chinese warplanes, although it did not go against the Taiwanese sovereign airspace or international policy.

“As Taiwan decision makers, we cannot take any chances, we have to be prepared,” the foreign minister said. “When the Chinese government is saying they would not renounce the use of force, and they conduct military exercises around Taiwan, we would rather believe that it is real.”

In May, Wu was suspected by Beijing as a “diehard separatist”. Installed in the foreign affairs position in 2018, Wu told a press conference that his country would defend itself “to the very last day” if China attacks.

“Stopping ‘Taiwan independence’ is the necessary condition for maintaining peaceful cross-strait relations,” China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Zhu Fenglian said. “Joseph Wu has repeatedly and arrogantly provoked ‘Taiwan independence’ … we will take all necessary measures to severely punish such ‘Taiwan independence’ diehards for life in accordance with the law.”

Responding to the spokesperson’s remarks, Wu said he is “honored” to be the focus of Beijing’s Communist authorities. “Authoritarianism cannot tolerate truth. If they continue to say that they want to pursue me for the rest of my life, I’m not really concerned about that,” Wu said.