Fri, 29 Sep 2023

Taipei [Taiwan], August 19 (ANI): Taiwan envoy to the US, Hsiao Bi-khim on Thursday said that the self-governed island will not bow down to the Chinese aggression and will continue hosting foreign delegations.

"We are very concerned and worried about China's provocative, reckless, and irresponsible actions that are extremely dangerous," Hsiao said in an interview with The Hill. However, she said Taiwan will continue hosting foreign delegations.

However, she said that Taiwan will not let China's military and economic coercion prevent future visits from foreign delegations, reported Taiwan News.

"We're not going to go out and say, 'We don't want friends. Stop visiting us."Commenting on China's military drills around Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Ed Markey, Hsiao said Beijing's actions would only bring Taiwan and its allies closer together.

"The more they bully us, the more we need friends," she said.

In addition to military activities, Beijing has also suspended cooperation with the US on various issues and imposed sanctions on Taiwanese goods and officials, including Hsiao, reported Taiwan News.

"If they think sanctions will restrict our pursuit of international space or stifle our voices, they are wrong," the diplomat said, adding, "We will not be silenced by these sanctions."Hsiao said that China's provocations have garnered more global support for Taiwan.

"They are the ones that are stirring up a lot of attention and they are also, ironically, promoting greater sympathy and interest in visiting Taiwan from the international community, and China needs to be held accountable for their own behaviour," she added.

Hsiao called on Beijing to "show their responsibility" and help maintain regional stability, given that a unilateral action could affect global commerce.

She said that Taiwan is committed to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait but must "be prepared for the worst."The diplomat said Taiwan needs to develop the means to appropriately respond to multiple threats from China, including the economy and cybersecurity, reported Taiwan News.

Hsiao said she hoped trade talks between the US and Taiwan would be "expedited," pointing to closer economic ties with the US as another way to counter China's aggression.

Taiwan and the US announced plans later on Thursday to commence negotiations on a trade deal in the fall via the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade.

Notably,last week, a new delegation of US lawmakers visited Taiwan, less than two weeks after Pelosi's visit to the self-ruled island angered China and set off large-scale military drills in the Taiwan Strait.

In response to this visit, China's military conducted combat alert patrols and military drills in the waters and airspace around Taiwan. On Tuesday, China staged military exercises in five areas of the South China Sea off the coast of the southeastern Guangdong province. Several zones of the Yellow Sea are also involved in the ongoing drills on August 17-19.

China claims full sovereignty over Taiwan despite the separate two sides being governed separately for more than seven decades. Taipei continues to counter the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US. (ANI)

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