Foreign Minister Joseph Wu says Taiwan will defend itself


Taiwan intends to fight for itself in any armed conflict with China and is unclear as to what countries might stand behind it, the self-governing island’s foreign minister said. China claims Taiwan as its own territory, to be brought under its control by force if necessary, and concerns are rising about a possible armed conflict.
In an interview last Friday with Sky News Australia, Joseph Wu said Taiwan, with a population of 23 million compared to China’s 1.4 billion, has to defend itself and is not asking other countries to fight for it. However, when asked who might fight alongside Taiwan in the event of a war with China, Wu answered, “This is a very good question.”
“A lot of people are debating strategic ambiguity or strategic clarity, but to us, we know our own responsibility,” Wu told the news channel from Taipei. “Taiwan has to defend itself; the people have to defend Taiwan, this country, and we are determined to defend ourselves, and we are not asking other countries to fight for Taiwan,” Wu added.
US President Joe Biden has repeatedly said American forces would help defend Taiwan, although US official policy remains ambiguous over if and how forces would be dispatched. Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles said in March that his country had made no promise to support the United States in any future conflict over Taiwan as part of an agreement to obtain American nuclear-powered submarines.
Biden and the leaders of Australia and the United Kingdom have announced that Australia will purchase nuclear-powered attack submarines from the US to modernise its fleet, amid growing concern about China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific. Australian critics of the deal argue that the United States would not hand over as many as five of its Virginia-class submarines without assurances that they would be made available in the event of a conflict with China over Taiwan.
Asked if Taiwan was destined for war, Wu replied, “I certainly hope not.” Wu said Taiwan is working to maintain the status quo, essentially de facto independence, without a formal declaration.