Taiwan defense minister says island must defend itself

Oct 27, 2021, 10:56 PM | Updated: Oct 28, 2021, 5:10 am

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s defense minister said Thursday that the island must defend itself and not depend entirely on others for help if China were to launch an attack, even as Taiwan’s president said she had faith the U.S. would defend it.

“The country must rely on itself, and if any friends or other groups can help us, then it’s like I said before, we’re happy to have it, but we cannot completely depend on it,” the minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, told reporters after being questioned in the legislature as part of a session on national defense.

Tensions between Taiwan and China have risen to their highest level in decades, with China sending record-breaking numbers of fighter jets toward international airspace close to the island, and stepping up a campaign of military harassment. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry has said that China would have “comprehensive” capabilities to invade the island by 2025.

China claims Taiwan as part of its national territory although the island has been self-ruled since it split from the communist-ruled mainland in 1949 after a long civil war.

Chiu has called the rising tensions between China and Taiwan the most “severe” he has seen in 40 years.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said in an interview with CNN that aired Thursday that she was confident the U.S. would defend Taiwan if China made a move against the island.

“I do have faith given the long term relationship we have with the U.S. and also the support of the people of the U.S. as well as Congress,” Tsai said.

Tsai also confirmed the presence of a small number of U.S. troops on the island to help train their Taiwanese counterparts.

Although the U.S. has no formal diplomatic relationship with the Taiwanese government, it has strong unofficial ties. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. stepped up weapon sales to Taiwan.

Further, the U.S. has a policy of “strategic ambiguity” toward Taiwan, where it has been deliberately vague about whether it would defend the island in the face of an assault. However, the U.S. also has a policy to support the island’s self defense, including by providing it arms, as declared in the Taiwan Relations Act.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke out against the confirmation of troops, saying it is “firmly opposed to any form of official contacts and military ties” between the U.S. and Taiwan, and that no one should “underestimate the strong determination, firm will and strong capacity” of China to defend its sovereignty.

Separately, the Chinese Defense Ministry said in a statement that China strongly opposes military exchanges between the U.S. and Taiwan and called on the U.S. to clarify the situation.

“If the U.S. continues to stubbornly cling to the illusion of using Taiwan to contain China… China will resolutely counter and fight back,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei said at a press conference.

Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden seemingly contradicted the decades-long U.S. policy toward Taiwan when he said the U.S. was committed to protecting the island if China attacked it.

The White House later said Biden’s comments did not represent a change in policy toward the island.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Lilia Kristenko, 38, cries as city responders collect the dead body of her mother Natalia Kristenko...
Associated Press

Ukraine works to restore water, power after Russian strikes

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian authorities endeavored Saturday to restore electricity and water services after recent pummeling by Russian military strikes that vastly damaged infrastructure, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying millions have seen their power restored since blackouts swept the war-battered country days earlier. Skirmishes continued in the east and residents from the southern city […]
3 hours ago
FILE - Palestinian soccer fans wave Qatari and Palestinian flags as they watch a live broadcast of ...
Associated Press

Flashes of Arab unity at World Cup after years of discontent

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — For a brief moment after Saudi Arabia’s Salem Aldawsari fired a ball from just inside the penalty box into the back of the net to seal a World Cup win against Argentina, Arabs across the divided Middle East found something to celebrate. Such Arab unity is hard to come by and […]
3 hours ago
FILE - MGM Grand Macau casino resort is closed in Macao on July 11, 2022. Macao has tentatively ren...
Associated Press

Macao awards casino licenses to MGM, Sands, Wynn, 3 others

BEIJING (AP) — Macao has tentatively renewed the casino licenses of MGM Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and three Chinese rivals after they promised to help diversify its economy by investing in non-gambling attractions, the government said Saturday. The announcement is positive news for owners who have invested billions of dollars to build the […]
3 hours ago
FILE - Local authorities inaugurate the Christmas lighting in the streets of Vigo, Spain, Nov. 19, ...
Associated Press

Sober or bright? Europe faces holidays during energy crunch

VERONA, Italy (AP) — Early season merrymakers sipping mulled wine and shopping for holiday decorations packed the Verona Christmas market for its inaugural weekend. But beyond the wooden market stalls, the Italian city still has not decked out its granite-clad pedestrian streets with twinkling holiday lights as officials debate how bright to make the season […]
3 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: November 26, the NHL is founded

Today in History Today is Saturday, Nov. 26, the 330th day of 2022. There are 35 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 26, 1950, China entered the Korean War, launching a counteroffensive against soldiers from the United Nations, the U.S. and South Korea. On this date: In 1825, the first […]
1 day ago
FILE - A hippo floats in the lagoon at Hacienda Napoles Park, once the private estate of drug kingp...
Associated Press

Wildlife conference boosts protection for sharks, turtles

PANAMA CITY (AP) — An international wildlife conference moved to enact some of the most significant protection for shark species targeted in the fin trade and scores of turtles, lizards and frogs whose numbers are being decimated by the pet trade. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Taiwan defense minister says island must defend itself