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tv   Discussion on U.S.- Indo- Pacific Policy  CSPAN  February 23, 2022 12:26pm-1:24pm EST

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minister of foreign affairs informers u.s. defense secretary mark esper talk about china's relationship with taiwan and the rise of global authoritarianism. hosted by the mccain institute this is about an hour. >> i am mark esper, former united states secretary defense and the inaugural fellow at the mccain institute here in washington, d.c. thank you for joining us. i am proud to welcome you to another installment of our program. i am honored to welcome a longtime friend of the u.s., his excellency mr. joseph wu. relationships between the u.s. and taiwan grew under the previous administration has a face bad behavior by china and they continue in the biden white house. i was pleased to see the white house reaffirm the commitments to taiwan last year when it said "our position on taiwan remains
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clear, we will stand with friends and allies to extend our prosperity, values in the indo pacific region. we maintain long-standing commitment as outlined in the taiwan relations act and the six assurances. we will assist taiwan in maintaining a self-sufficient defense capability." taiwan and the u.s. are longtime friends and partners in the indo pacific. the relationship between our countries goes back many decades and is bound by our shared history, values, common goals and familial links. economics, technology, geopolitical and other factors. nothing draws us together more closely than the threat of china which continues to build an flex capabilities. this year will mark the 26th anniversary of the first free indirect elections in taiwan in 1996. a troubling fact for beijing that they prefer to ignore. it was during that time i was a
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senior captain on the army staff at the pentagon working on various plans for the pacific, including p.r.c. aggressions in the taiwan strait. someone who has worked on these issues a quarter-century and seen taiwan progress it is a treat to discuss these matters today. we have the perfect guest to help enlighten and guide us on these matters. minister joseph wu has served in a variety of high political role throughout his career. previously he helped with the office of the president, national security council, and the democratic progressive party. as i mentioned minister wu is a champion of the u.s.-taiwan partnership. it is my honor to welcome him here to discuss democracy, the china policy, taiwan status, p.r.c. bad behavior, trade agreements and more. minister wu, joseph, welcome. >> thank you, mr. secretary. it is my distinct honor and pleasure to share with you this
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morning. >> thank you. i would like to start by asking you about the mccain institute's namesake. last year the president of taiwan was awarded the john mccain prize for leadership in public service by the halifax international security forum. it seems senator mccain was one of the first to congratulate the president in january 2016. what it senator mccain mean to you and the people of taiwan? >> he means a lot to taiwan. he is a very significant and important figure in our relationships with the united states. i am glad you mentioned about the john mccain award for our president. it is in recognition of the president's high contribution to defend taiwan and to defend democracy. as the president mentioned, we received the award and that this
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is not just recognition of her but recognition of taiwan people and the place waiting to fight against communism. waiting to stand up for democracy. we are highly appreciative of receiving this award and the john mccain, when he served in congress, being highly supportive figure for the taiwanese people. every time there is a need for the congress to speak out in defense of taiwan he is always out there and he is a champion for taiwanese security. he is a champion for taiwan being a democracy, fighting against communism. to the people he is a hero. i know that he is also a war hero for the united states but to taiwan it means more than that. we will treasure his support and we will remember him forever. >> thank you for sharing that. those are great reflections about a great man who many miss.
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certainly with all that is happening in europe with russia and ukraine. let me jump into the first question. on january 28, not long ago, taiwan said it would not participate in the opening ceremony of the olympic winter games. february 4 they reversed the decision citing pressure from the ioc. reports noted the taiwanese delegation did not use the name taiwan on uniforms, the anthem, or carried the fly during the opening ceremony. how are the olympics being used by china to suppress taiwan as your officials caution? >> this is one of those events for the taiwan people to feel suppressed. i will start from a couple of stories about taiwanese participation. in 2003, taiwan was hit by sars very hard. we appealed to the international
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support, especially w.h.o., but they did not send anyone to taiwan until it was a serious outbreak. when the w.h.o. experts came to taiwan they were prohibited by the w.h.o. to speak to the taiwanese government officials dealing with a pandemic. back in 1998 taiwan was hit very hard by virus. taiwan again was appealing to the international support, especially the w.h.o. 1998, nobody came for taiwan. this is the kind of situation the people understand. we need to find all kinds of punitives so we are able to participate in international activities so taiwan can be seen on the international stage or make contributions to the international community. olympics is one of the.
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we are in negotiation with the ioc for participation. but the end of the negotiation was taiwan is able to send our team to participate in the international olympic event but we need to use a name we don't like, which is chinese taipei. we are participating as an independent member. even so the chinese continue to twist our way of participation. sometimes they like to put us right behind hong kong and macau. this is the chinese way of suppressing taiwan's international participation. and it goes much beyond the international olympic event. our name has been called by
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other countries and subject to a lot of manipulation or twists. or our names in international corporations sometimes are twisted into taiwan china or taiwan province of china and we hated it. taiwan wants to be called taiwan. this is the name of the place. we want to be called taiwan. sometimes the chinese can come down very hard on this issue. for example, if there is an international operation willing to call taiwan just taiwan, the chinese would use trade or business opportunities as weapons to go against these companies. the most recent example is lithuania. the lithuanian government is waiting to call our representative office which is great for the townspeople. you see how hard the chinese government is coming down on
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lithuania. this is the international reality we are facing. but we have to fight very hard for taiwan's participation in international events or activities or organizations. a form that we are able to maintain dignity, like the name. we think that is acceptable. or the way that taiwan is not part of any other country. >> thank you for that answer on ioc but also the elaboration on the other challenges. i hope you speak to that. i appreciate the history of the w.h.o. we will not discuss that because we lived through that recently and i thought the w.h.o.'s behavior has been reprehensible, particularly since taiwan did so well with covid. i thought you had a lot to share with the international community. i hope we get to that. let me jump to another topic.
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on february 7 the u.s. approved a $100 million support contract with taiwan for patriot missiles. predictably beijing opposed and condemned this movement demanded it be revoked. after the november 2021 virtual meeting between chinese president xi jinping and joe biden the chinese state media reported xi told biden encouraging taiwan's independent would be playing with fire. since china has not ruled out these are forced to dictate unification how should the administration deal with china's aggression if at all? >> this is a serious issue for taiwan and i am sure it is also a serious issue for the united states and other partners. if you look at xi's statement to president biden, supporting taiwan is playing with fire. that is not just threatening taiwan it is threatening the united states. the united states support for taiwan is not supporting taiwan for independence but supporting
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taiwan to remain democratic and remain not ruled by china. and to support the status quo. the chinese statement is something we need to worry about and we need to think further about the chinese intention and their ability so that we can safely predict what china may do to taiwan in the future. and support for taiwan until the provided of defensive articles is one of the most important matters the united states has been supporting taiwan. we are very glad when president trump was in office he continued to supply defensive articles to taiwan. because of that we are able to get the means to be able to defend ourselves and the service and training together with united states. that has enabled taiwan to be able to defend itself.
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we do not have to wait four or five years for that to be made available. this is so much faster than before. i am glad to tell you the biden administration has carried on all this tradition of supporting taiwan's defensive capabilities. we will continue to speak to the united states so we are able to defend ourselves. the chinese threat against taiwan is very serious. if you look at their activities, it was almost 1000 authorities last year inquiring into our air defense zones. their ships also coming close to territorial water. this is the situation we need to watch for and together with the rhetoric and potential intentions to use force against
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taiwan, i think taiwan needs to prepare itself. we want to be able to defend ourselves and the united state'' support order provide taiwan with defensive articles is one of the most important things for us to defend ourselves. >> you mentioned democracy. >> democracy is important for taiwan. democracy is our way of life. democracy is also a value we all share. taiwan is waiting to defend our shared values in the face of expending our unit. it requires all democracies to work together. >> back to the issue, as you know, as many of our viewers know, and as beijing knows, the president is obligated to provide defense articles under the taiwan relations act. in addition to long-standing u.s. policy. glad to see those continuing and your support makes a difference. you mentioned about security. what is taiwan doing to improve
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its own security as far as increasing defense budget, modernizing your equipment? can you elaborate on that. i know it is not in your portfolio per se. >> sometimes we joke with each other, especially the joke between myself and the defense minister, to see which position is more difficult. i do not envy the minister of defense but i think the minister of defense also does not envy my job in the ministry of foreign affairs. but as far as we can tell we have made more and more investments. to share with you some of the internal discussions. those shared by our senior officials and the president herself we were talking about taiwan's defensive capability. we don't really argue for the increase of our own defense budget. we argue for the increase of the
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defense budget for the ministry of national defense. we understand it matters to taiwan's survival and therefore, it is not just the minister of defense himself who is keen on increasing our military, it is the whole government approach to increase our capability so that taiwan is able to defend itself. in the increase of our budget we also need to spend money in a very smart way. making investments in the defensive articles that will make a difference. and also making investments in isometric capabilities so china understands they will pay a heavy price if they initiate conflict against taiwan. we are also engaging in a civil defense reform. the government has instituted an all-out mobilization agency underneath the ministry of national defense.
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we want the people here in taiwan to be able to defend themselves if china is going to launch a war against taiwan. these are what we tried to do. the support of the united states or exchanges or training or sharing of intelligence also very important. we are very glad the united states has been working very hard in these regards as well. >> good to hear that. when i was secretary of the pentagon we would discuss these quite often. our view was you had to take a more asymmetric defense. that is important. i was a big believer all of our allies and partners should contribute at least 2% to other gdp and defense. i would urge you to go beyond that given your situation, but your report on the civil defense is interesting. i have been encouraged by what i have seen coming out of ukraine right now where the ukrainian people are really standing tall and together and are committed to defending themselves, even if it turns into an insurgency
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which would likely be the case. let me pull that threat more on security and go more to your wheelhouse. it is a matter between both of our countries. but when it comes to u.s. security commitments to taiwan what does strategic ambiguity mean in taipei? is the policy approach still sufficient? i would like to hear your thoughts on that. >> i understand there is a policy debate in washington regarding strategic clarity. we listen carefully to the statements by senior officials or officials in the pentagon. there is no ambiguity at all. the united states is highly committed to peace and stability in the taiwan area. i did not see ambiguity at all. but whether the debate is going on the ambiguity side or the
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clarity side we see here in taiwan that everyone seems to be very interested in providing support for taiwan. to us that is a serious matter and a very important matter. people are coming from different perspectives in thinking about how better providing taiwan with defensive weapons or to come up with defensive strategies for the united states to defend taiwan. it does not matter to taiwan whether it is clarity or ambiguity. the support is there and we are seeing more and more support and that is highly appreciated. >> i am pleased to report to you as i say often despite the political partisanship in washington, d.c. right now there is bipartisan unity on one thing and that is everybody recognizes china is the growing threat to us in the 21st century. and that same group of members of congress, executive officials
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and others in d.c. also support taiwan. that is good for taipei. >> yes. very happy about that. it used to be red team or blue team or whatever you want to call it. now it is all taiwan team. we are happy to see the policy community and washington, d.c. is supportive of taiwan. we are happy there is across-the-board bipartisan support for taiwan on capitol hill and the administration's whether it is democratic or republican. their support is unambiguous and that is highly appreciated. >> you talked earlier about the day to day intrusions, naval intrusions, the belligerent rhetoric out of beijing. how can the united states -- what can we do to help you on that front and what would you propose? other than strong statements out of washington and whatnot. >> what the united states has
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been doing during this period of time is monitor the chinese activities. they understand the chinese way of doing this is something like gray zone. it is an intrusion but below the threshold of military conflict. the chinese like to do that all the time. they keep pushing but they know war is not going to happen. and if we do not react, sometimes the chinese will be open to take more actions against taiwan and that is not something we want to see. we have been discussing with the u.s. on these matters quite closely how to compound the gray zone activities of the chinese military. either to deal with their intrusions or airplanes coming close to taiwan's vicinity or to deal with the chinese hybrid warfare or to deal with chinese control of the south china sea.
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this is something we have been discussing with each other. the more important thing is for the united states to continue its freedom of mitigation operation in the region. the u.s. has been doing that since the secretary -- you being secretary. conducting freedom of mitigation operations is important and mobilizing partners to do it together in this region is also very important. there were several occasions where the united states is going france, germany, netherlands, canada, japan, australia to conduct freedom of mitigation operations in this area. i think that is reassuring to the taiwanese people that we are not alone in dealing with the encroachment of the chinese military. other than that we also have to deal with something we called hybrid warfare. such as misinformation
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campaigns, infiltration into taiwanese societies to support the proxies here, or trying to shape the people that democracy is doomed. we have to deal with these matters on a daily basis. because of that we also gained a lot of experiences in dealing with hybrid warfare. because of that there are more and more countries, especially in europe, that understand taiwan is experienced in doing that and they want to engage with taiwan. this is good to increase taiwan's engagement. we want to continue to engage with the united states to make sure that the chinese encroachment into our zone or too close to territorial water will not become a source of major conflict. and of course, the chinese way of encroaching into our air identification zone is trying to
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deplete our air defense capabilities. we have limited number of our jet fighters and if they fly too frequently, there might be pilot fatigue or mental fatigue. that is the reason we want to buy more jet fighters from the united states so our airports can defend our skies. >> and you are right about the freedom of navigation operations. during my tenure i think we ran more than ever on an annual basis. we were fairly successful in getting many allies, some europeans, to do so as well which i thought was doubly important. it not just showed support to taiwan but it was an international support to defend international law and norms which china violates on a daily basis all around the world. speaking of that, if i could pivot. i thought i would mention this year will be the 26th anniversary of the first green and fair election in taiwan.
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taiwan has become a vibrant democracy. i am going to ask you to look across the starit and answer -- strait are they content with what the ccp is offering? >> this is not an easy question to answer. if you ask normal people here in taiwan, we are so accustomed to this democratic way of life. we will fight very hard to defend the freedom we have right now. but if you flashback several decades to the time when taiwan was under authoritarian rule, a lot of people at the time would say, we are ok under this authoritarian rule as long as the economy is growing. i think the situation might be the same in china. we understand there are still a lot of people in china waiting to speak up in the face of chinese oppression.
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they are waiting to take any opportunity to show their opinion and that is the source of future democratic developments. talking about the chinese regime, i think it is sad to see what happened in xinjiang. if the chinese government is doing that to hong kong, you can see how it is going to do it to its own people. they want to continue to brainwash the people that living under coming this is good
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and taiwan is about to fall apart. when the brainwashing of the chinese government will be hard for the chinese people to gain the accurate information from outside china but i think there will be chances for the chinese people as long as some people who are daring to get the right and accurate information from outside china and willing to continue to listen to the voices of their conscience. i think there is hope for china to become democratic in the future. mr. esper: glad you mentioned hong kong. i was there in 1997 for the handover. i remember the commitments made by beijing to the u.k. and the people of hong kong. i the phrase "one country, two systems." but the communist party has crushed the rights of freedoms of people living in hong kong. i know the answer the question but i want to hear you articulate it. what to the people of taiwan
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learned from watching this happen? minister wu: we are watching it closely. 2019, 2020, 2021 or now we continue to watch what happened in hong kong. look, the chinese government promised hong kong promised back in 1997 the hong kong people and the international community that the system in hong kong is not going to change. now it is all gone. the chinese promise is something they can break easily. don't take their word for it. especially the chinese government is using hong kong's one country, to system model is a showcase to the taiwanese people. they want to unify taiwan based on the one country, two system model. will understand one country, two system model is one country and
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one system. the taiwanese people will not accept any offer by the chinese government that we have a one country, two system model. we understand the chinese promise is not trustworthy and we will not accept the way the chinese impose the national security law on hong kong. if you look at the reality in taiwan, taiwan exists by itself. it is not like hong kong. we have democratic elections for our president, for our parliament, and we also have the ministry of national defense to defend taiwan and we have the ministry of foreign affairs who issue visa and passport. we use the new taiwan dollar note for our economy and our merchandise. taiwan exists independently out
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of the prc. this is the reality. the taiwanese people's commitment is to defend the status quo, to defend our democracy, to defend our democratic way of life. mr. esper: i remember at the time beijing was also offering taiwan one country, two systems. clearly as you articulate the fraud they perpetrate on hong kong has exposed that is not a viable path forward for the reasons you mentioned. big concern here and i'm sure for you and others in the region is will china attack? some people are concerned it could happen within a year. we have folks at dod speculate in five years. henry kissinger not long ago said it would not happen for a decade. what is your assessment or what is your ministry of national defense's assessment? minister wu: our way of looking at this issue is the chinese
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will not attack but evaluate their intention and capability and the possible event in china or across the strait that will trigger chinese action. i think intentions are clear. whether it is the senior government officials they talk about taiwan even though the taiwanese people are against the kinds of unification the chinese government has been proposing. therefore, they are talking about not rooting out the use of force against taiwan for your reunification. that is what they are advocating. this is something we need to bear in mind, that the chinese intention is very clear already. if you look at their capabilities, i think the chinese capabilities have been increasing tremendously in the last few years whether it is missile capabilities,
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technology, cyber capabilities, air force or ships. it is beyond our imagination. china has made so much investment and have modernized their military capable of not only striking at taiwan but to go beyond. we need to defend and develop our capability so taiwan is able to defend ourselves. if you look at the possible event that may trigger the conflict between taiwan and china, one thing that might come from taiwan -- and we have been careful about that -- we don't want to provoke the chinese actions against taiwan. taiwan is a peaceloving country and we want to maintain our stable line of rhetoric in thinking about the relations with the united states and other like-minded partners. we don't want to be a provoker in conflict. i think because of our policy throughout all these years we
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have won the appreciation of the partners throughout the world. the taiwan government is a contributor to peace and civility over the taiwan strait. on the others either his domestic policies we need to watch out for. mr. esper: this classical theory about the authoritarian country,they like to do for minister wu: -- if something is bad happening to china inside the country, for example, unemployment or major disasters, that might be the time we need to watch very carefully and that is something we are watching very carefully as well. we don't count on the calculation of when that will happen, when the chinese will attack taiwan, but we are counting on ourselves that we are prepared. whether it is tomorrow or next
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year or 10 years from now, we will always be prepared. fmr. secretary esper: you mentioned not being provocative. i'm going to ask a provocative question right now, nonetheless. chinese policy has been around for 40 years. i'm skeptical it is still relevant to this day and age and how taiwan has developed. and where china is today. do you want to comment on the relevancy today of the one china policy? minister wu: we understand that the united states and other partners of ours, we don't have diplomatic relations or maintain the one china policy. the one china policy is distinct from the one child principle. i think under the one china policy, we are still able to engage with each other beneath the level of formal diplomatic
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recognition. for example, we are able to speak with each other on defense matters and other matters and our relations with the united states have been very strong in the last few years. and it is getting stronger. and the one china policy is fine with us, even though we don't like it, but at least we are able to work with the united states based on that one china policy. and when the united states is mentioned in one china policy, the basic components would include free communiques with china, but there is also the power relations act and fixed assurances and these two components are the most important basis for taiwan to be able to continue to engage with the united states. and by the same token, we are also working with other major partners in europe, australia, japan. we don't have formal diplomatic relations, but we continue to advance our relations with like-minded countries and we
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appreciate their support for the peace and stability of the taiwan strait. or for taiwan's international participation. but the one china principle is very different. they are talking about taiwan being part of the prc and that is something we are really against. fmr. secretary esper: that has troubled me over the years with regard to the one china policy. i think beijing has been successful with regard to confusing people as to what the one china policy is, twisting it to the point that many people around the world and even washington, d.c. don't really understand what it means. they think it is washington accepting chinese sovereignty over taiwan and that is not the case. if memory serves me correctly, it is one of the six assurances trying to clarify during the reagan administration that we do not accept that. we only acknowledge that the chinese believe that. i think that is a very important thing that we need to understand and relearn in some cases.
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minister wu: that is right and i think that is very important, to let the international community or your people understand that the one china policy has a major component that would allow taiwan to engage with the united states without recognizing chinese sovereignty over taiwan. china's claim of sovereignty over taiwan is accepted by the united states. on that note, one thing is very important for taiwan. we were talking about chinese international participation earlier. there was a u.n. resolution 2758 adopted by the un's general assembly in 1971. in that resolution, it talks about the prc being the sole representative of china. but there is no reference to taiwan. china was very good in twisting that resolution and imposed its own interpretation of the
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secretary-general of the u.n. to make it sound like china is part of the prc. when states refer to taiwan, they refer to taiwan as part of the prc, and that is the wrong interpretation of the resolution. and that is also against the u.s. position on taiwan's participation in the united nations. fortunately, the state department started to speak on that. they don't agree with representation of the human or china -- u.n. or china on resolution 2758. i think the u.s. now will assist taiwan to participate in international activities or international organizations. this is very important. fmr. secretary esper: that was the next question i was going to ask, with regard to international organizations. we spoke earlier about the who. i think it is reprehensible you are not part of the who. it seems to me that would be the place to begin because the moral
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component of making sure we can take care of the taiwanese people and helping you endure pandemics and things like that. where would be the next step after the who that you would like to see a more active role for taiwan in international organization? it could be the world intellectual property organization or any of those as out there as part of the u.n. system. minister wu: it is a good question. we have to start from somewhere, somewhere where taiwan's participation is being seen as morally correct. if we are able to get the international community to understand that taiwanese participation is the right thing to do or that taiwan's exclusion is wrong, we need to start from somewhere. the who is the organization we have been focusing on for a few years and we haven't made the final result of taiwan being an observer or participant in the world health organization and we
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will continue to fight for that. fortunately, the united states and other key like-minded partners have become more forceful in supporting taiwanese participation in the who. there are other organizations we are fighting for. taiwan happens to be an air hub, millions of flights coming through taiwan and millions of passengers stopping in taiwan to either come to taiwan or go to other countries and therefore, for taiwan to be able to participate in the icao, the international civil aviation organization, it is the right thing to do. it concerns international aviation safety rate -- safety. we have been working very hard. and another one would be interpol, because criminals could come and go to any country. they might slip through taiwan and go to another country and
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become a problem for taiwan or a problem for other countries because of taiwan's ignorance. therefore, we are asking that taiwan is able to participate in interpol as well. or at least get access to major criminal data so we can identify passengers coming to taiwan. this is another organization we have been targeting for international support. of course, there are other international organizations that require taiwan's participation to make it comprehensive. you mentioned about international property organization like oecd. that is something taiwan should be able to to participate in in a normal way and we will try to explore the possibilities of our participation in these international organization.
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something we don't talk very often about is our cooperation with the united states in international organizations, but we have a dialogue with the state department with the united states on international organizations. it has been very successful in coordinating our actions and supporting taiwan's participation and now we are also getting like-minded partners to talk with us on these important issues of taiwan's international participation. but i think the real cost of taiwan's exclusion from the major international organizations, i go back to u.n. resolution 2758. if we are not able to tackle this, it will be very difficult for taiwan's participation in major international organizations, especially those major organizations associated with the united nations.
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unfortunately, the united states has already taken the first step and we need to align more and more with our partners to steve -- speak up and not interpretation by the u.n. or china and we need to have room for taiwan the play its role in international organizations. if you look at the countries in the world, taiwan has 23.5 million people. excluding taiwan from international organizations, excluding taiwan from the rights to participate and the obligation to make contributions, is simply wrong. and we need to make a correction of that. fmr. secretary esper: you smartly chose three organizations to go at initially. any reasonable person would find it hard to disagree with organizations that deal with health, safety and welfare. i would put w.h.o. in that first spot. international civil aviation organization and interpol.
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i think those are very smart choices and i showed you i think the united states and others should lead the push in the u.n. system to get you participatory rights in those organizations because otherwise, 23 million something people are otherwise left out of the benefits provided and the benefits you can provide those organizations as well. it makes sense to me. speaking of other international organizations in altman's, in january -- organizations, in january 2018, after the u.s. withdrew from the transpacific partnership, the remaining 11 countries agreed on a new one, the cptpb. do you think the united states should join? and i know you have thoughts on your own free-trade agreement with the united states. what are your views? minister wu: on the cptpb, we
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international trade architect that we have been working very hard. we have already tendered our application and hope there is a chance for us to discuss with the member states about taiwan's admission. we are doing just that right now, speaking with the member states of the cptpb. so there is a chance for taiwan to be able to participate. participating in the tpb is a rather complicated matter. it is not just a group, whether they would accept taiwan's position or not. as long as there is one country that is speaking up against taiwan's admission, there is no chance for us. i'm sure you can understand how china has the motivation to mobilize one or two countries to block taiwan's participation. this is the difficult part for us. i think the whole nation is
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looking at this as a strategical objective and will fight very hard for that. the complicated matter is that china has also tendered its application. if china is tendering its application, it might want to use its influence to manipulate the acceptance process either for china or other countries. if you look at the trade center in taiwan, it is very high, we are meeting all the requirements are admission. we understand we have to do it. but if you look at the chinese trade center, it is very low. it still has nationally owned it is very low. it still has nationally owned enterprises and is still using trade sanctions against many countries. therefore, it will be a long time before china meets the high standards of the tpb. that is a very complicated manner.
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-- matter. i know the united states has withdrawn from the tpb, but if you look at the strategic dynamics in this region, in the indo-pacific, china has plans to become the dominant power in the region. and for that, china is not only looking at its defense or military activities, it is looking at its own trade and economic activities. and we need to come up with an architect in order to safeguard the freedom and openness of these trade systems in this region. therefore, i certainly hope the united states will think about rejoining the tpp, to make it strategically important to guard against expansion of authoritarianism in this part of the world. and if the united states is willing to speak with taiwan either on the tpp or free-trade
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agreement, i would take the high ground to look at this. the united states has been supporting taiwan and wants to support taiwan economically, politically, diplomatically, and things like that. and if you look at the chinese way of trying to isolate taiwan, they are not only trying to isolate taiwan diplomatically, they are trying to prevent taiwan from getting access to military support from other countries and very importantly, trying to isolate taiwan economically. and if we think taiwan is strategically important for the united states, the best safeguard for taiwan will be in -- an fta between taiwan and the united states and if it is going to have an fta with the united states, i can assure it will also help united states economy read look at taiwanese
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investment in the united states, i think we helped create a lot of jobs in the united states. and if there's going to be an fta, it is going to create even more jobs in the united states and is strategically a safeguard for us. one of our good mutual friends spoke out on several occasions that the best defense for taiwan the u.s. can provide is on fta. fmr. secretary esper: i agree. whether it is taiwan or any country, as we compete with china, it is important we employ all elements of our national powers, diplomatic and military, but economic, developmental assistance, etc. to me, right now, the biggest missing piece of the puzzle is this economic outreach, either as part of a cttb or fta with taiwan. that would take us a long way to
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economic integration but also send all the right signals about our commitment to taiwan, a thriving democracy and self-sufficient economy. i was in arizona and they are very excited about what is happening there, with the smc coming. it is great for the u.s. as well to have that resource inside the united states, so very exciting. joseph, you have been very generous, you have given us fantastic answers. one last question. as you sit in taipei, if you could look at your crystal ball and tell us what you think the taipei-beijing-washington relationship looks like in three years, what does your crystal ball tell you? minister wu: the most unfortunate thing is, i don't have that crystal ball. if i look at the trajectory of the closer relations between taiwan and the united states are
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-- or relations between the u.s. and china, the trajectory is clear. we don't see any hope of relaxation of tensions between taiwan and china. the reason is very clear. china has the intention to take over taiwan militarily and they seem to be more confident of their capabilities. and we now have strong support from the international community, and without the ability of taiwan to defend itself, it is going to be very hard to prevent china from thinking about using military force against taiwan. in that regard, we continue to look forward to u.s. support for taiwan, either providing defensive articles or engaging with each other so taiwan knows more about how to defend itself. we also need international community support for taiwan. for example, the major summits the u.s. has participated in all came out with a joint statement
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to support taiwanese participation or support peace and stability over the taiwan strait. that is very important. as long as we have that, that is a safeguard for taiwan to defend itself or for the area to remain peaceful and stable. if you look at the trajectory of china-u.s. relations or taiwan-u.s. relations, if you look at chinese influence not just in southeast asia, but south asia, central asia, africa, latin america, this is very worrisome. i am sure decision-makers in washington, d.c. is also seeing this happening. if you look at leftist governments in latin america, it is very worrisome. they seem to have better
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relations with china than with the united states. as long as china continues to expand its own influence throughout the world, all democracies, led by the united states, will think about ways to counter the expansion of authoritarianism. on that note, taiwan happens to be on the front lines. we understand our responsibility of safeguarding ourselves, but we also understand our responsibility for democracy and will continue to work with you to make sure taiwan prevails in taiwan's democracy avails. if you look at taiwan-u.s. relations, i see a very good trajectory that taiwanese relations have been improving tremendously and we will continue to see that taiwan plays a very positive role in the international community, so that the united states will continue to look at taiwan as a net contributor to international issues.
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when president trump was in office, the u.s. started to describe taiwan as a democratic success story, reliable partner and a force for good. we are happy about that. we also understand the responsibility of taiwan and will continue to work together so that taiwan can continue to shine throughout the world as a very successful model of democracy, as a reliable partner for the democratic world and a force for good. whenever the u.s. thinks taiwan can make a contribution to major international issues, taiwan will always be there. fmr. secretary esper: thank you for that great answer. i think you summed up the international situation well. when i was secretary of defense, we recognized great power competition was on us and i made it a priority to implement a national defense strategy at
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bass and basically what we saw and said was that the greatest challenge if not threat facing the united states and i would argue the world's democracies is the rise of china in the 21st century. it depends which way they go. i think it is time for democracies to unite and bring in taiwan and other democracies that have henceforth not been allowed to participate so that we can together defend international law and norms and defend the values we all share whether it is freedom of religion, press, speech and assembly. all those things may be in the balance as china continues to rise, and disturbingly alongside russia these days. i think this is the challenge of the 21st century. it is great to have taiwan as partners. i really enjoyed our discussion. you not surprisingly provided tremendous answers and comments that were thoughtful and insightful and strategic.
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just as we expected. minister wu, thank you, and for the audience turning into this sixth and a series of conversations with local leaders about the challenges the united states and our allies and partners face in the years to come. minister of foreign affairs joseph wu, thank you for a great discussion. minister wu: thank you, mark, for inviting me. thank you. fmr. secretary esper: and follow us on instagram and twitter for all future events. thank you. >> tom malinowski joins the jewish democratic council of america for an update on the crisis in ukraine. watch live coverage today at 2:00 eastern on c-span, online at or our free video app, c-span now. >> browse through our latest collection of c-span products,
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apparel, books, home to core and accessories. there is something for every c-span fan. every purchase helps support our nonprofit organization. shop now at >> this afternoon, the pentagon press secretary will provide an update on the u.s. response to the russia-ukraine conflict. watch live starting at 3:00 p.m. on c-span or watchful coverage on our free video app, c-span now. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government provided by these television companies and more including charter communications. >> broadband is a force for empowerment. that is why charter has invested billions of the infrastructure, upgrading technology and empowering opportunity in communities big and mall.


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