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Taiwan’s US envoy: West needs to call out China to prevent invasion

Taiwan’s US envoy: West needs to call out China to prevent invasion

by host

Taiwan’s new top diplomat in the United States, Alexander Tah-ray Yui, has called on the U.S. and Europe to not “look the other way” in the face of a potential Chinese invasion of the self-governing island.

“The best defense, best help that you can do for Taiwan … is by actively, openly voicing your concerns that you will not accept Chinese aggression towards Taiwan,” Yui told POLITICO’s Power Play podcast in an interview, warning against “stand[ing] by or look[ing] the other way if this aggression starts.”

Faced with an increasingly belligerent China, which considers the self-governed democratic island as part of its territory, Taiwan is getting ready to fight off an invasion, the diplomat said.

China is “preparing very seriously to have the ability to invade Taiwan,” Yui said, which is why Taiwan is “increasing [its] defense capabilities” to “confront any possible aggressions in the future.”

Yui drew a parallel with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which he said was “a possible mirror to Taiwan” as it was also “facing an attack from a much larger country” and equally sought to beef up its defenses — like Ukraine did after the Kremlin illegally annexed Crimea and parts of the eastern Donbas region in 2014.

“So the threats are there, and we want to preserve our way of life,” Yui said. “We want to preserve our democracy. We want to preserve liberties, and we will defend it,” he added.

Taiwan is also gearing up for an upcoming presidential election on January 13, and Taiwanese officials have warned that China might try to influence the results.

Yui said he expected China to exert enormous pressure on Taiwan between the election and the new president’s inauguration, in May.

“They will try to do maximum pressure so that the new president-elect will yield to the Chinese demands, so that in his speech on May 20th, he will include conciliatory content towards the Chinese demands,” Yui said.

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