TAIPEI, September 15 (Hfrance.fr) - Taiwan is a " maritime fortress "which blocks the expansion of China in the Pacific and is ready to share its knowledge with other democracies to counter Beijing's effortsto undermine it, Foreign Secretary Joseph Wu told an American hearing on Wednesday.
The United States, like most countries, does not has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan claimed by China, but is the democratically ruled island's largest international donor and arms supplier.
China has stepped up its military and diplomatic lobbying efforts against Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen first took office in 2016, seeking to force Taipei to accept Beijing's claims of sovereignty, to the alarm of Taipei and Washington.
Addressing an online forum organized by the Global Taiwan Institute on Taiwan-US and attended by several former senior US officials Wu said Taiwan has played an "important role " in ensuring freedom of navigation inthe strategically important Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.
"Both are essential for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, "he said. "More importantly, a democratic Taiwan serves as a maritime fortress to block Chinese expansionism in the wider Pacific.
The China is claiming Taiwan as its territory to legitimize its aggression and expansionism, Wu said, adding: "Isn't this irredentism precisely what gave birth to World War II?
Taiwan faces not only Chinese military threats, but also cyber attacks, disinformation campaigns and other "gray area " tactics, a- he added.
"Taiwan has learned valuable lessons and developed
There was no immediate response to his comments from China.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Chinese Affairs Bureau in Taiwan repeated warnings to the Taipei government not to seek to gain formal independence for the island, claiming that such "gratuitous provocations and evil acts " would only threaten peace and stability.
China says Taiwan is the most important and sensitive issue in its relations with the United States.
Taiwan says only its people can decide on the island in the future. Report by Ben Blanchard; Edited by Bernadette Baum
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