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Taiwan: The frontline guardian of democracy

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Tsai Ming-yen, Head of the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium, responds to the visit to Taiwan by the speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

"The visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in early August is a clear demonstration of the long-standing friendship and partnership between Taiwan and the United States.

This rock-solid partnership can be traced back to the overwhelming passage of the Taiwan Relations Act by the US Congress 43 years ago, which lays out the US' determination to support Taiwan's defence and emphasises that any attempt to determine Taiwan's future by non-peaceful means is a threat to the peace and stability of the entire Western Pacific.

As Speaker Pelosi said, the United States must stand with Taiwan, the "island of resilience", in the defence of democracy and freedom.

China, citing its opposition to Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, has recently conducted unwarranted military exercises in the air and sea space surrounding the Taiwan Strait, launched several missiles into the waters surrounding Taiwan, intruded into our air defence identification zone, and crossed the median line of the Strait with multiple batches of aircraft. Taken together, these actions seriously threaten Taiwan's national security and undermine the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific. In response, the government has expressed solemn condemnation and strong protest.

It is an objective fact, and a fundamental aspect of the status quo, that the Republic of China (Taiwan) is a sovereign and independent state and has never been part of the People's Republic of China. No amount of pressure and intimidatory tactics can change this fact, which China itself knows to be true. The future of Taiwan must only be decided by the 23 million people of Taiwan.

Increasingly over recent times, the international community has been highly concerned about the security of the Taiwan Strait and China's frequent campaigns of political and economic coercion. This week, the G7 Foreign Ministers' Joint Statement reiterated once again their firm commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and called on China not to unilaterally alter the regional status quo by force. 

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In addition, many others have already expressed their support for Taiwan, including Taiwan's allies, like-minded countries, and the executive and legislative departments of more than 40 countries. The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, also called on all parties to remain calm and restrained.

China's recent military exercises around Taiwan, with 68 sorties and 13 vessels intruding into the Taiwan Strait on August 5 alone, are a blatant provocation, and threaten the stability of the Taiwan Strait, the Indo-Pacific region, and the international security order.

Taiwan, as a responsible member of the international community, will not escalate any conflicts or provoke any disputes, and will calmly respond to China's irresponsible military threats, firmly protect sovereignty and national security, and stand strong in the defence of its democracy and freedom.

The international community should jointly condemn China's irrational military provocations and continue to show concern over the peace in the Taiwan Strait in order to uphold the rule-based international order.

Taiwan will not back down from China's military pressure, and we will continue in the tireless defence of our sovereignty and security, while working with global democratic partners to uphold democratic values and safeguard regional peace."

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EU Reporter publishes articles from a variety of outside sources which express a wide range of viewpoints. The positions taken in these articles are not necessarily those of EU Reporter.

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