Taiwan fears China is preparing pretext to practise future attacks

US upgrades Taiwan with newer Patriot missiles

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Taipei believes Beijing is preparing to find another “pretext for practising their future attack” on Taiwan, the island’s foreign minister has warned. Joseph Wu, who entered his current post in 2018, spoke with the Guardian from Taiwan’s capital as he suggested cross-strait communications may diminish even further now that Xi Jinping has secured his third term.

Wu said: “We are quite sure that the Chinese may want to use another pretext of practising their future attacks against Taiwan.

“So this is a military threat against Taiwan.”

Beijing is thought to be putting more pressure on Taipei through economic coercion, cyber-attacks, and cognitive and legal warfare.

China has also made diplomatic efforts to isolate Taiwan internationally, according to Wu.

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He added: “If China can do that to Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, I think that is going to cause concern in other countries [about] whether their support for Taiwan is going to actually damage Taiwan’s national interest rather than providing real support to Taiwan.”

Wu’s comments come after China increased its warplane incursions into Taiwan’s defence zone by five-fold since 2020.

Following a relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, there has been an increase in the number of foreign delegations visiting Taiwan.

A UK parliamentary delegation met President Tsai Ing-wen last week.

China responded to the meeting with fury on social media.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom said: “The Chinese side urges the UK side to abide by its commitment, stop any actions that violate the one-China principle, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.

“Moves of the UK side that undermine China’s interests will be met with forceful responses from the Chinese side.”

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also claimed the UK’s “golden era” in Anglo-Chinese relations “is over”.

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Speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, Mr Sunak said: “Let’s be clear, the so-called ‘golden era’ is over, along with the naive idea that trade would lead to social and political reform.

“But nor should we rely on simplistic Cold War rhetoric.

“We recognise China poses a systemic challenge to our values and interests, a challenge that grows more acute as it moves towards even greater authoritarianism.”

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