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Home The News News The Formosa Club congratulates Lai

The Formosa Club congratulates Lai

The Formosa Club — a coalition of Taiwan friendship groups — on Tuesday congratulated Vice President William Lai (賴清德) on his victory in Saturday’s presidential election and voiced concern over apparent Chinese involvement in Nauru severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Nauru switched recognition to China two days after Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections, which the Formosa Club said in a statement was based on Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China, a misinterpretation of UN Resolution 2758.

The incident “highlights the fact that China has utilized the distorted interpretation of this resolution to isolate Taiwan internationally,” wrote 25 cochairs of the club, which comprises cross-party European and Canadian legislators.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo: Reuters

“We express grave concern over China’s manipulation and weaponization of UN resolutions to advance its expansionist agenda,” they wrote.

The timing of Nauru’s decision shows “China’s deliberate suppression and intimidation against Taiwan’s democratic process,” and threatens the regional stability and international order, they said.

The statement condemned Beijing’s use of “methods contrary to the principles of the rule of law and good governance” to expand its influence.

It called for vigilance against any negative effects.

“In solidarity with the people of Taiwan, we commend their courage and unwavering commitment to upholding democracy on the front line,” the statement said.

In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked the club for supporting the nation with concrete actions, adding that “democratic Taiwan is not afraid of suppression.”

In other news, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday told CNBC that China’s increasingly aggressive strategy to suppress Taiwan in the past few years is against its own interests.

Blinken reiterated the importance of maintaining cross-strait peace and stability.

Beijing’s attempts to exert economic, military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan have “actually been totally counterproductive to their interests,” Blinken told CNBC’s Squawk on the Street program in Davos, Switzerland, during a trip to attend the World Economic Forum.

Through Saturday’s elections, Taiwan has set a “great example” of a robust democracy “not just for the region, but for the entire world,” he said.

After his congratulatory statement to Lai was met with strong criticism from China, Blinken “made very clear” to a senior Chinese official in Washington that the US has long maintained its “one China” policy and is “standing resolutely for maintaining the status quo,” he said.

“China has to make decisions about what it will do and what it won’t do,” he added.

The US and its allies around the world have been pursuing clear objectives of the situation across the Taiwan Strait — maintaining peace and stability, opposing changes to the “status quo” and calling for the peaceful resolution of any dispute, he said.

“There’s a reason that that matters,” namely that 50 percent of the world’s commerce passes through the Taiwan Strait every day and “the semiconductors made in Taiwan are powering the world in every conceivable way,” he said.

Any disruption to this would have “repercussions for everyone around the world,” he said.

Blinken said that he is “not going to speculate” about whether China would pursue a takeover of Taiwan, adding that the US has been clear with both sides across the strait that “maintaining peace and stability” is its priority.

Although he might not meet with the Chinese delegation in Davos, Blinken said that the US and China have “ongoing, high-level communication” following the positive outcome achieved by the meeting of their presidents in San Francisco in November last year.

The US is to keep up with the efforts to avoid miscalculations and miscommunication, he added.

Source: Taipei Times - 2024/01/18

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