1020: Taiwan Reaffirms Sovereignty and Independence; Blinken Warns of China’s “Faster Timeline” on Taiwan; Taiwan Barred from Interpol

Taiwan Reaffirms Sovereignty and Independence in Response to Chinese Xi’s Speech

Taiwan is a “sovereign and independent country” and will never compromise on its freedom and democracy, Taiwan’s Presidential Office reiterated on October 16, in response to comments by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in a major speech earlier in the day.

In an address at the opening of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese President Xi said that it is up to the Chinese to resolve the Taiwan issue and that China would never renounce the use of force to “reunify” Taiwan.

Specifically, he warned that China reserves the option of taking “all measures necessary” against the “interference by outside forces” and the “separatists” seeking Taiwan independence.

As a solution, the “one country, two systems” model, under which Beijing governs Hong Kong and Macau, remains “the best means” of achieving “reunification” of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Xi said.

In response, Taiwan’s Presidential Office reiterated that Taiwan is a “sovereign and independent country,” and that mainstream public opinion in Taiwan had clearly rejected Beijing’s “one country, two systems” idea.

“The consensus of the Taiwanese public is that territorial sovereignty, independence and democracy cannot be compromised and that military conflict is not an option for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait,” the office said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) emphasized that the Taiwanese people alone have the right to determine their country’s future, and they will never accept the so-called “1992 consensus” defined by Beijing’s “One China principle” or the “one country, two systems” formula.

“Taiwan has never been a part of the People’s Republic of China,” the MAC said, adding that Taiwan’s commitment to its sovereignty and democracy is “a fact that the Beijing authorities will have to face up to.”

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/cross-strait/202210160012
[2] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2022/10/17/2003787171

Blinken: China Has “Much Faster Timeline” on Taiwan

Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, China has decided that the “status quo” is no longer acceptable and is pursuing its plans to annex Taiwan on a “much faster timeline,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on October 17, reiterating warnings of global economic crisis if Taiwan were attacked.

In a conversation with former U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice at Stanford University, Blinken said a hallmark of U.S. policy across party lines has been an insistence that differences between Taiwan and China must be handled peacefully.

In recent years, however, China has made a fundamental decision that “the status quo is no longer acceptable,” and Beijing is determined to pursue so-called “reunification” on a “much faster timeline,” Blinken said.

If peaceful means didn’t work, then Beijing would employ coercive or even forceful means to achieve its objective. “That is what is profoundly disrupting the status quo and creating tremendous tensions,” he said.

Blinken warned that destabilization of the Taiwan Strait should be of “profound concern to countries around the world,” given the “enormous” amount of commercial traffic in the Taiwan Strait and the significant economic implications

“If Taiwanese [semiconductor] production were disrupted as a result of the crisis, you would have an economic crisis around the world,” he said.

For this reason, there is “a profound stake not just for us, but for countries around the world in preserving peace and stability” in the Taiwan Strait, and ensuring that existing cross-Strait differences resolved peacefully, he added.

[1] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2022/10/19/2003787314
[2] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202210180004

Taiwan Calls Lack of Interpol Invitation “Deeply Regrettable”

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed “serious dissatisfaction” that Taiwan was again not invited to the International Criminal Police Organization’s (Interpol) annual General Assembly, which opens in New Delhi on October 18.

“We find it deeply regrettable that Interpol has allowed political factors to override policing expertise by disregarding Taiwan’s practical needs to meaningfully participate in the organization’s meetings,” MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou said on October 18.

Taiwan is a sovereign, independent democratic state and is not subordinate to the autocratic People’s Republic of China (PRC), Ou said, adding that only the democratically elected government of Taiwan has the right to represent the Taiwanese people on the international stage.

Ou’s comments came after Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock said that the Interpol cannot grant observer status to Taiwan because it sees Taiwan as part of the PRC.

“In 1984, the Interpol General Assembly recognized the People’s Republic of China as the sole representation of China,” Stock said on October 17.

“As such, Interpol recognizes Taiwan is part of China, and as China is a member of Interpol, Interpol cannot grant Taiwan observer status in the General Assembly,” he said.

“Arrangements were put in place” after 1984 to enable Interpol National Central Bureaus and the “China-Taiwan police administration” to exchange information through “Interpol channels,” he said, without elaborating.

In response, Ou said that Taiwan’s police system has always operated “independently” outside that of the PRC.

“Taiwan is highly willing to contribute to cross-border crime fighting but cannot establish direct and real-time information sharing with Interpol simply due to China’s obstruction,” she said, adding that Taiwan will continue to ask its diplomatic allies and like-minded countries to support its bid to join Interpol.

Taiwan joined Interpol in 1961, but was forced to withdraw in 1984 after the entry of the PRC.

Taiwan has sought to take part in Interpol’s General Assembly as an observer since 2016, but repeated attempts to secure an invitation have been to no avail.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202210180006
[2] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2022/10/19/2003787329