On Sunday, G-7 leaders issued a statement that was highly critical of the Chinese regime, including its human rights abuses in China’s far-western Xinjiang region and Hong Kong, and unfair trade practices. The leaders also underscored “the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues.”
“We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions,” they added.
“Taiwan is dedicated to maintaining a free & open Indo-Pacific, & will continue to work with our global partners to ensure regional security,” Tsai added.
Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-te also took to Twitter to say that he was encouraged by the G-7 statement.
“We welcome multilateral efforts for peace. Taiwan is ready to cooperate with the G-7 and beyond,” Lai wrote.
According to Taiwan’s presidential office spokesperson Xavier Chang, it was the first time that a G-7 statement had stressed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The governmental group—which has Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States as members—was founded in 1975.
China and Taiwan are separated by the Taiwan Strait, which is about 80 miles wide at its narrowest point.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the G-7 statement in a press release. It said that Taiwan will continue to work with G-7 nations and like-minded countries, including those in the European Union, to maintain peace, stability, prosperity, and sustainable development in the Indo-Pacific region.
Gratitude to the G7 leaders for underscoring the importance of peace & stability across the #Taiwan Strait, & encouraging the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues. Such 1st-time support in a summit communique is welcomed by the government & people.
— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) June 14, 2021
The relationship between Beijing and Taipei has been rocky, mainly because the Chinese regime sees the self-ruled island as part of its territory. As a result, the communist regime has tried to isolate Taiwan from the international community and prevents the island from taking part in international organizations including the World Health Organization.
Taiwan is a de facto independent nation with its own democratically-elected government, military, constitution, and currency. Washington currently has no official diplomatic ties with Taipei.
The Chinese regime has also threatened to wage war to “reunite” mainland China and Taiwan. In the face of a possible Chinese invasion, Taiwan has been buying military equipment from its main weapons supplier the United States for self-defense.
Last week, Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate hearing that the United States could defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion by the Chinese military.
“I can assure you that we have the capabilities if there were political decisions made in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act,” Milley explained.
In March, Adm. Philip Davidson, who was then-head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, warned during a Senate hearing that the communist regime could invade Taiwan in the “next six years.”
In response to the G-7 statement, a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in the UK said that other countries should stop “interfering with China’s internal affairs” with regard to Taiwan.
Lo Chih-cheng, a lawmaker for Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said on Monday that China has been the source of instability in the region and a challenger to regional peace, when asked by local media about the G-7 statement, according to Taiwan’s government-run Central News Agency.
Lo called on the international community to take concrete actions to ensure peace across the Taiwan Strait, such as sending their military fleets to waters in the western Pacific Ocean.