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Taiwan is ‘sea fortress’ against China, minister tells U.S. audience

By Reuters

Taiwan is a “sea fortress” blocking China’s expansion into the Pacific and is willing to share with other democracies its knowledge of countering Beijing’s efforts to undermine it, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told a U.S. audience on Wednesday.

The United States, like most countries, does not have formal diplomatic ties with Chinese-claimed Taiwan, but is the democratically ruled island’s most important international backer and arms supplier.

China has stepped up military and diplomatic pressure against Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen first won office in 2016, seeking to force Taipei to accept Beijing’s sovereignty claims, to the alarm of both Taipei and Washington.

Addressing an online forum organised by the Global Taiwan Institute on Taiwan-U.S. relations and attended by several former senior U.S. officials, Wu said Taiwan played a “significant role” in ensuring freedom of navigation in the strategically important Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.

“Both of them are critical to peace and stability in the Indo Pacific region,” he said. “Most importantly, a democratic Taiwan serves as a sea fortress to block China’s expansionism into the wider Pacific.”

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