Taiwan raises concern over growing domestic crisis in China
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan has expressed concern that the growing domestic instability in China may prompt the communist regime to launch external aggression, especially against its island neighbor.
Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said Taiwan might become a “scapegoat” for China’s internal problems and the authoritarian government may catapult an invasion to assuage its people.
“When an authoritarian country or government is not able to handle domestic stability, the easiest way for the authoritarian country is that they might want to create an external crisis to divert domestic attention or to keep its country together,” he told select members of international media in November.
“Taiwan is so conveniently located right next to China and we are concerned that Taiwan might become a scapegoat [for] China’s internal problems,” Wu added.
Wu made the remark in light of the mass protests in China with demonstrators denouncing the government’s strict zero-COVID policy, real estate failure, and the nation’s financial institutions.
“What we are concerned about is the way the Chinese economy is further slowing down, leading to deterioration of basic economic growth and social stability,” he said.
Taiwan, which is a full-fledged democracy, has been under constant threats from China, which insists on reunification with the self-ruled island that it considers a renegade province.
The People’s Liberation Army has been amplifying its missile tests around the Taiwan Strait in the past months especially after US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in August.
Wu also raised concerns over Beijing’s increasing pressure to alienate Taiwan from the international community.
“I think we’re starting to gather that Xi himself or his government, especially his Ministry of Foreign Affairs is becoming tougher than before in pursuing its national interest,” he said.
“China, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, might pressure other countries to keep away from Taiwan and that might be something that we need to confront in the near future,” the Taiwanese official added.
Wu urged the international community to “pay attention to the possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan,” saying a war should not be allowed to happen.
“If there’s going to be a war, it will be a disaster not just for Taiwan but for China as well,” he said.
“As they did with Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, I am sure fellow democracies are also thinking of finding ways to sanction China and they will suffer the consequences of its military actions,” he added.
Nonetheless, Taiwan has been beefing up its forces, allocating 2.6 percent of its national budget to defense and mobilizing its people to join the army as well as training its civilian citizens to defend themselves in case of a China invasion.
“What we want to do right now is to beef up our defense capabilities and to engage more with our fellow democracies, especially the US, for security issues so that they can become a strong deterrence against Chinese aggression against Taiwan,” Wu said.
“We are asking them to tell China not to invade Taiwan,” he added.