Taiwan Representative to US: Use of Force to Change Status Quo Not Acceptable

Taiwan Representative to US: Use of Force to Change Status Quo Not Acceptable
Hsiao Bi-khim (L), Taiwan’s new representative to the U.S., and Brent Christensen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan, attend an inaugural ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan, on July 20, 2020. (Chen Po-chou/The Epoch Times)

Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim has asserted her stance that the island will not tolerate the use of force to change its current situation.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen are both slated to visit China in the coming weeks, marking the highest level diplomatic visits by the United States to China since 2018.

“We require a peaceful environment, an environment which does not allow the use of force to change the status quo,” Hsiao said in comments on the issue that Blinken should bring up to China in his upcoming trip.

Hsiao noted that the Taiwanese people and the American share a strong belief in upholding freedom and democracy.

“I think that is a significant part of the shared interests that we have. And we will continue to work with our American counterparts on this matter,” Hsiao said during an interview with NTD on Feb. 1, The Epoch Times’ sister media outlet.

“And we do also hope that the U.S. will continue to work with us in ensuring peace and stability in the region and in defending our shared values,” she added.

“It is the important role that Taiwan can play as a force of good in supporting these values,” Hsiao said.

Importance of Defending Taiwan

Her opinion echoed that of the speaker of Taiwan’s parliament You Si-kun who is now in the United States to conduct a mission of promoting the values of freedom, democracy, and religious freedom in Washington.

In an address to the International Religious Freedom Summit, You Si-kun sharply criticized Beijing’s suppression of religious minorities and described Taiwan as the only democracy in the Chinese-speaking world.

He also stressed the island nation’s strategic importance at the center of key global sea lanes and as an important producer of semiconductors.

“So it’s very important to safeguard Taiwan, especially its democracy,” he said.

“If Taiwan falls into the sphere of influence of CCP, then the beacon of democracy will be destroyed. And China may invade the first island chain, and will cause a threat to the entire world,” You said, referring to China’s ruling Communist Party and its ambitions in the Pacific region.

Holding the CCP Accountable

There has been growing pressure on the two U.S. secretaries to address human rights violations of the communist regime, among others, on their China trip.
On Feb. 1, a group of Republican lawmakers led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sent a letter to Blinken and Yellen urging them to hold China’s communist regime accountable for its crimes.

The letter singled out the CCP’s ongoing human rights violations against ethnic and religious minorities in China’s Xinjiang region, which the United States recognizes as genocide.

It said that the United States must hold the CCP regime accountable for its “system of mass surveillance and internment, denial of individuals’ rights to peacefully practice their religion, and use of forced labor, sexual violence, forced abortion, and forced sterilization of women.”

“Moreover,” the letter said, “the CCP continues to deny basic human rights to other groups whom the regime deems a threat, such as Tibetans, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners.”

GOP lawmakers also warned that the pair should not allow their trips to become propaganda victories for communist authorities.

“We urge you to use the trips to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for its human rights violations, unfair trade practices, and increasing aggression in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” the letter said.

“Anything less would be a concession to our country’s greatest threat.”

The sentiment of the letter echoed one issued by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) earlier in the week, which called on Blinken to “shine a light” on the CCP’s atrocities.

Lankford issued a letter (pdf) to Blinken on Jan. 31, asking Blinken to “make defending the oppressed a defining focus” of his planned trip to China.
Lankford said in a Jan. 31 interview with NTD that he sent the letter because he was afraid that the Biden administration’s desire for increased trade and enhanced climate policies might overshadow its commitment to hold the CCP accountable for its numerous atrocities.

“I wanted to make sure they weren’t going to talk about economic opportunities and trade and climate issues and leave out the people of China and what they continue to face under this regime, day after day after day.”

Andrew Thornebrooke and Reuters contributed to this report.
Hannah Ng is a reporter covering U.S. and China news. She holds a master's degree in international and development economics from the University of Applied Science Berlin.
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