Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Wu Zhaoxie warned of China’s "authoritarian expansion" in the Pacific.
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Wu Zhaoxie said that the international community now understands "what is China" and more countries question China's activities in the Pacific island countries.
- Palau is one of the four Pacific island nations that still maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan
- Wu Zhaoxie urges Australia and other democracies to jointly combat Chinese expansionism
- Palau and Taiwan announce plans to create a safe travel bubble circle
Wu Zhaoxie recently attended the inauguration of Palau's new president, Surangel Whipps Jr..In an interview with reporters, he accused China of "forcibly entering the Pacific region."
According to reports, before this decision was made, both countries received huge amounts of aid from China.
External Link: @carreondet: Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (left) in Palau for the inauguration of the new government. #palautaiwan #TaiwanCanHelp
Wu Zhaoxie said that the iconic diplomatic strategy "One Belt One Road" proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping is creating a "debt trap" for developing countries.Through this initiative, developing countries can obtain low-interest loans provided by Chinese banks to build infrastructure in their own countries.
"China's'One Belt One Road' initiative has been advancing to the Pacific region," Wu Zhaoxie said.
"This initiative has actually brought a very strong political influence to China, and it has also caused many countries in the region to fall into a very serious debt trap."
Several Pacific countries—including Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu—are considered the countries with the heaviest debt burden on China in the world.
Both Canberra and Washington have expressed concerns about China’s high borrowings in the Pacific, worrying that this move will give Beijing greater control over the assets of Pacific countries.
Palau's new president warns of "foreign invaders"
Wu Zhaoxie’s comments are consistent with those of Mr. Whippers, who warned against “foreign invaders” in his speech after the oath of office.
Close observers said the comment was directed at China.
Although most of the new president’s speeches were conducted in Palauan, he also briefly conveyed a clear message to overseas audiences in English.
He thanked partners such as Australia, the United States, Japan and Taiwan for helping Palau develop and respond to the new crown epidemic, and said that these countries "help us protect us from foreign invaders and help fight climate change."
Palau is considered to be a country not affected by the new crown epidemic. Due to its close relationship with the United States, Palau is expected to become one of the first countries in the world to receive the new crown vaccine.
Palau is one of more than a dozen countries in the world that maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan instead of China.China considers Taiwan to be a separate province, so it does not allow diplomatic partners to recognize both the Beijing and Taipei regimes.
"Although our friendship may sometimes not be well accepted by other countries — some countries even try to force into our country as they do elsewhere — Palau has rightly refuted these acts of aggression and will Keep doing this," Mr. Whipples said.
Wu Zhaoxie said that he “heard” that Palau’s speech was about China and urged Australia and other democracies to work together to combat Beijing’s “outwardly expanding authoritarianism”.
He also stated that Taiwan has been "considering a military strategy" to resist Beijing's threat, and pointed out that Taipei has reached a multi-billion dollar arms deal with the former Trump administration.
"These types of weapons are necessary for Taiwan in order to be able to withstand possible attacks from China," Wu said.
"We need to let more friends understand... Taiwan, as a front-line country in the democratic camp, is preventing the expansion of Chinese authoritarianism."
President Whipples announced the establishment of a "sterile corridor" to allow people to travel between Palau and Taiwan while ensuring the safety of the epidemic.
"The'sterile corridor' between our two countries will revitalize the personal, medical, educational and commercial relations between the two countries," he said.
"This will boost Palau's economy when we need help urgently... In order to [suppress] the new coronavirus, traveling through the new sterile corridor is like taking a domestic flight."
External Link: @mofa.gov.tw: It would be a pity if hard-working Minister Joseph Wu didn't get a chance to see some of the sights while in beautiful #Palau. Minister Wu took a trip to the scenic #RockIslands earlier today, alongside new President Surangel Whipps, Jr., before he had to reluctantly #SayGoodbye to the beautiful nation of Palau and board a plane back home!
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister also believes that the proposed travel bubble will attract many Taiwanese to Palau, but he also warned that “strict measures” must be ensured to avoid the deadly new crown epidemic in the two countries.
"I think Palau will attract many Taiwanese tourists who want to go abroad and enjoy it," Mr. Wu said.
"Nevertheless, although Palau does not have a new crown virus, one of the reasons why it can be free of new crown virus is that it has adopted very strict [epidemic] measures."
Palau's economy is heavily dependent on international tourism. According to statistics, due to unemployment caused by the new crown epidemic, the unemployment rate in Palau's private industry is approaching 50%.
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