Taiwanese official warns China: ‘We will never give up our freedom’

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Taiwan’s lawyer warns of a possible invasion of his country by China and calls on the democracies of the world to support his island nation.

“I am very, very concerned about a future potential Chinese invasion against Taiwan,” said Council General Ambassador James JK Lee, the director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York.

“China has not renounced the use of force against Taiwan.”

Ambassador Lee, in an exclusive interview with TSWT News, outlined international and domestic efforts to strengthen Taiwan’s defenses in the face of increasing Chinese aggression.

Aircraft of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conduct joint combat exercises around the island of Taiwan on Aug. 7, 2022.
(Li Bingyu/Xinhua via TSWT)

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“Many military experts estimate different timetables for a possible invasion. But I believe peace can only be sustained through strength,” Lee said.

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He praised President Biden’s expression of support for TSWT island nation when he recently told “60 Minutes” that US troops will help defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack. White House officials have said the president’s statement is part of a policy of “strategic ambiguity” designed to keep Beijing off balance, though the US policy of “One China” remains in effect.

“It highlights the US’s determination to protect democracy. It also sends a clear message to Beijing that an ambiguity strategy is leaning toward clarity in response to China’s intimidation against Taiwan,” Lee said. “Ukraine will have told us that deterrence is critical. Preventive war is very important. Ultimately, our real success will not measure whether we can win a war over Taiwan, but whether we can prevent one.”

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The Biden administration is also reportedly considering imposing sanctions on China to deter a potential invasion.

“Americans need to know that Taiwan’s democratic future is the future of the free world. Chinese aggression against Taiwan would disrupt the entire region. Therefore, we should not see Taiwan as China’s ultimate goal, but rather as the first domino in the quest to regional and global dominance,” Lee said.

China has stepped up its provocations against Taiwan, which still considers itself its own territory. Recent large-scale military exercises off the coast of Taiwan and the continued warplanes violating the country’s defense zones are examples of Beijing’s roars. Only about 90 miles separate the two countries between the Taiwan Straight, which is roughly the same distance between Cuba and Florida.

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“The United States and Taiwan should use this crisis as a catalyst to accelerate a constructive security partnership,” said Lee. “When you face such a large hostile giant on the other side, we hope those freedom-loving, peace-loving countries can unite and give Taiwan support. We need that.”

Lee has also gathered support in New York for his country and has sought to expand his role in the United Nations. The UN General Assembly expelled Taiwan in 1971 in favor of communist China.

Observers say Beijing’s combativeness has only backfired and made defense of Taiwan a top US priority. Ambassador Lee says China’s actions have also strengthened the determination of the Taiwanese people.

“China’s aggressive, coercive approach only reinforces our people’s will to protect our democracy and freedom,” he says.

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“While Taiwan will do everything it can to de-escalate the tension, we will never give up our freedom.”

Jennifer Johnson contributed to this report.

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