Taiwan's FM urges closer ties with Israel

In wake of China tensions, Joseph Wu tells Ynet he hopes cooperation between the countries will become stronger, and support for each other on international stage will only grow

Emily Schrader|
Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said he hopes Israel and Taiwan will develop closer relations since the two countries share similar values.
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  • In an exclusive interview with Ynet, Wu also urged Israel to show support for Taiwan as a democratic nation with a key role in the international economy.
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    Joseph Wu
    Joseph Wu
    Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu
    (Photo: EPA)
    “We hope that Israel can talk more about Taiwan and Taiwan's role in the international economy and international politics, or the situation [of how] Taiwan is under the threat by China," said Wu.
    China ended formal high-level communication with Taiwan's government in 2016 after the island's voters elected Tsai Ing-wen, whom Beijing considers a separatist, as president. But, with Chinese jet fighters mounting almost daily maneuvers around Taiwan, local officials fear their former rulers might initiate an invasion to reclaim the territory.
    Wu also said that one of China’s tactics has been to intimidate and diplomatically threaten democratic nations who cooperate with Taiwan in retaliation, including Israel.
    “The greatest threat is that China wants to cut off Taiwan's international network….So whenever the Israelis say something about Taiwan, or Israeli newspapers or journalists comment on Taiwan or interview me, the Chinese come down very hard on the Israelis. The purpose or objective of the Chinese diplomatic action is try to cut off Taiwan from international support or connections with other countries.”
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    נשיא סין שי ג'ינפינג ב ביקור ב סעודיה חותם על עסקה עם מלך סעודיה סלמאן
    נשיא סין שי ג'ינפינג ב ביקור ב סעודיה חותם על עסקה עם מלך סעודיה סלמאן
    Chinese President Xi Jinping
    “Israel happens to be a fully functioning democracy, a mature democracy, and a country that shares the same values as Taiwan…therefore, China will try to cut Israel off of Taiwan's list of supporters on the international stage,” he added.
    Chinese President Xi Jinping has recently made increasingly aggressive statements emphasizing the One China policy, which would mean a Chinese takeover of the autonomous and democratic island.
    Wu noted in the interview that he hopes in the event of any escalation with China, that democratic nations such as Israel would continue to show strong support for Taiwan and that other Western powers would back the country with the necessary weapons to protect itself.
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    נשיאת טאיוואן בטקס לזכר יום השואה הבינלאומי
    נשיאת טאיוואן בטקס לזכר יום השואה הבינלאומי
    Tsai Ing-wen, first female president of Taiwan, attends Holocaust memorial
    (Photo: Courtesy)
    “We hope that there's no war in between Taiwan or in China or in any other parts of the world…but if war is to happen…we hope that Israel and the U.S. will continue to show support to Taiwan by saying that aggression is unacceptable.”
    “Freedom, democracy and the protection of human rights…these are the most fundamental values that Israel and Taiwan countries share with each other,” he said. “Whoever wants to come to Taiwan should not be dictated by China.”
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