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Opinion: China’s expansionist agenda won’t stop with Taiwan

After Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China has conducted live-fire military drills and other forms of intimidation. How far will we let it go?

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In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a projectile is launched from an unspecified location in China during long-range live-fire drills by the army of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. China conducted “precision missile strikes” Thursday in waters off Taiwan’s coasts as part of military exercises that have raised tensions in the region to their highest level in decades following a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

Lai Qiaoquan, Xinhua via Associated Press

Since Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the People’s Republic of China has conducted live-fire military drills and fired missiles off the waters surrounding Taiwan. It is clear that China is using Pelosi’s visit as an ill-concealed excuse to flaunt its readiness to invade Taiwan, as well as deter other countries from defending Taiwan. In addition to military intimidation, China has weaponized economic coercion, cyberattacks and misinformation campaigns to weaken the morale of the Taiwanese people. Beyond Taiwan, China has flagrantly jeopardized the peace and security of the Taiwan Strait, the security of the Indo-Pacific region, air and maritime transportation safety and international trade.

However, throughout these provocations, Taiwan stands firmly in its commitment to peace and safety, and remains open to constructive dialogue on maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. We are resolute in safeguarding our sovereignty and democracy.

Thus, on behalf of the Taiwan government, we call on the international community to denounce China’s irresponsible behavior, as their authoritarian expansionist agenda will not stop at Taiwan, but has already extended into the Pacific region, South Asia, Africa and Latin America. To date, over 300 parliamentarians in the world have openly denounced China’s military coercion. Taiwan’s government expresses its utmost appreciation to those who have spoken out in support of Taiwan, including the foreign ministers of the G7 and ASEAN, as well as senior government officials from the U.S., U.K., Japan, France, Germany, the European Parliament, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, Denmark, Sweden, Australia and many more.

Alongside our like-minded allies, we hope to safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty, halt the expansion of authoritarianism, and uphold a free and peaceful Indo-Pacific region.

Scott Lai, director general

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco