Speaking to Euronews, Taipei’s representative to the European Union, Remus Li-Kuo Chen, predicted „catastrophic and catastrophic consequences” if the situation in the Taiwan Strait were to change.
Defending Taiwan’s democracy against a possible Chinese invasion is „truly a matter of life and death” that will require the involvement of the entire international community, warned Remus Li-Kuo Chen, Taipei’s representative to the European Union. „This is really about our future and our destiny,” Sen told Euronews in an exclusive interview.
„In the event of any untoward and unprovoked tensions or any kind of war situation in the Taiwan Strait, we will have strong resolve and determination to defend our own country, protect our territory and our democratic way of life.”
Sen’s harsh words come amid a sharp deterioration in relations between the West and China over Beijing’s perception of siding with Russia in the Ukraine war and its continued refusal to condemn the invasion. The conflict in Europe has renewed attention on Taiwan, a self-governing island that China views as a breakaway province that should one day join the mainland.
The reunification narrative has fueled fears of Chinese military intervention against Taiwan, which Chen said could unleash „catastrophic and catastrophic consequences” for the entire world, crippling international trade.
Beijing’s regular military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait, which Chen described as „military provocations” and a „pressure campaign” ahead of the island’s presidential election in 2024, have only lent credence to a more dire scenario.
„At this time we must protect peace and stability, and protect Taiwan’s independence and democracy, because in fact, destroying Taiwan’s democracy would be a serious defeat for the world’s democracies,” Chen said.
During his interview with Euronews, Taipei’s representative drew a parallel between Ukraine and Taiwan, two democracies that continue to be occupied by autocratic neighbors. Like Q, its unrelenting resistance depends on Western munitions and financial aid, and Taipei will need outside help if necessary.
„Taiwan’s case is very similar: Taiwan is small, China is big,” Chen said.
„It’s really a matter of life and death for our Taiwanese people. And, of course, we’re not going to leave any kind of opportunity for them to give us a hand. If that kind of situation happens, it’s obvious. We can’t do it alone.”
The Taiwanese government and US intelligence services have indicated that Beijing could order a large-scale operation by 2027 to occupy the island and bring it under Chinese Communist Party control.
„We have learned from the lessons that the Ukrainian people are facing now, because no one can predict when the leadership in Beijing will take drastic action. Their centralized control over power is increasingly unpredictable,” Chen said of the predictions.
To deal with the tense situation in the Taiwan Strait, the ambassador recommends two simultaneous measures. On the one hand, Western democracies should send a „powerful message of deterrence” and make clear that any Chinese intervention will come at an „affordable price”. On the other hand, Taipei and Beijing need to talk things out.
„They (China) should not continue on this path, economically speaking, and militarily, they should not continue on this path of intimidating Taiwan, but should continue to think about other actions to continue dialogue. Let’s sit down and talk as equals,” Chen asked. .
„Why not maintain good and well-being on both sides of the Taiwan Strait? They (China) certainly have all possible means to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
The Harvard-educated diplomat stressed that Taiwan would not seek „unilateral changes” to the status quo, referring to a deliberately vague policy under which Taipei rejects reunification with China, the use of force and, above all, freedom of search.
This approach is defended by much of the international community, including the European Union, which favors maintaining close trade relations with both sides of the Taiwan Strait. However, this practice does not recognize Taiwan as an independent and sovereign country, despite a system of liberal democracy and a capitalist economy that puts the island on par with the West.
Beijing closely monitors any diplomatic overtures to Taiwan and is quick to condemn any country that appears to be violating its so-called „one China” policy. This is what happened when, in a departure from normal diplomatic protocol, Lithuania allowed an office – effectively an embassy – to be opened in Taiwan instead of Taipei.
China reacted angrily and retaliated by cutting diplomatic ties with the country and imposing a tariff ban on goods made in Lithuania, forcing the European Commission to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WHO). However, the sentence has had no deterrent effect: in recent months, representatives of lawmakers from France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the European Parliament have made official visits to Taipei in an effort to strengthen cooperation.
„We want to make sure that any country in the EU or any other part of the world that wants to strengthen ties with Taiwan does so at the will and decision of its sovereign state. Force.” Chen said regarding the Lithuanian example.
A new trade dispute has now emerged as Washington encourages its allies to ban exports of advanced semiconductors to China, a move the Netherlands has already decided to take. Taiwan, the world’s leading producer of microchips, stands at the crossroads of a clash between technology and geopolitics, further intensifying scrutiny of the island’s future.
„The whole world needs to know that without Taiwan playing this role in supplying these chips, any kind of normal operation for our economic prosperity is unimaginable,” Chen said, warning against „misuse” of semiconductors if they fall into the wrong hands. „Authoritarian Regimes”.
„You never know whether or not they’re going to use it (chips) to kill innocent people around the world.”