Taiwan says threat against Taipei will only increase support

Taiwan says threat against Taipei will only increase support

After China conducted drills nearby as US lawmakers visited Taipei, the foreign ministry said that China's military threats against Taiwan will only increase support for the island from the United States and other democracies.

Beijing blamed the lawmakers, including the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez, for raising tensions with their provocative trip. China ruled Taiwan as its own territory.

In a statement late on Friday, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry condemned China's recalcitrant and ridiculous reaction to the two-visit, the first of a group of US lawmakers this year.

The threat of force by the Chinese Communist Party's totalitarian government against Taiwan will strengthen the Taiwanese people's will to defend freedom and democracy, and will also attract support for democratic Taiwan from the United States and even more democratic partners, it said.

Taiwan will continue to strengthen cooperation with the United States and other like-minded countries to defend the free and open Indo-Pacific region, and prevent China's continuous expansion, the ministry said.

Senator Ben Sasse, one of the six bipartisan lawmakers who visited Taiwan and met President Tsai Ing-wen, said in a statement that China could not bully the United States or its elected representatives.

The American people do not love tyrants and instead instinctively support the freedom-loving people of Taiwan, he said.

Taiwan has been heartened by the US support offered by the Biden administration, which has talked about its rock-solid commitment to the democratically governed island.

The United States has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but it is the island's most important international supporter and arms supplier. That has added to the strains in Sino-U. Taiwan's government says only 23 million people can decide their future.

In a video message sent to a forum organised by Taiwan independence groups on Saturday, Tsai said Russia's invasion of Ukraine showed the threat that democracies face from authoritarianism.

Taiwan's position is to uphold sovereignty, uphold democracy, stand with like-minded countries, assist each other, and contribute strength, she said.