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MOFA response to comments by China’s ambassador to the United States during Aspen Security Forum concerning Vice President Lai’s overseas visit

  • Date:2023-07-20
  • Data Source:Department of North American Affairs

July 20, 2023


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) notes the absurd criticism and disinformation being spread by Chinese officials concerning Vice President Lai Ching-te’s overseas trip and stopovers in the United States. MOFA would like to re-emphasize that it is a long-standing practice for Taiwan’s president and vice president to travel to and make stopovers in other countries. The vice president’s trip in August is being arranged in accordance with the principles of safety, convenience, comfort, and dignity. During this process, Taiwan has been coordinating and communicating closely with the United States. As publicly underlined by senior US officials, these arrangements do not differ from previous practices. There is no reason for China to use the visit as a pretext to provoke, let alone to smear an innocent creature, in an attempt to create discord.


Moreover, remarks by Chinese officials concerning Vice President Lai’s trip are incoherent and self-contradictory. While using threatening language such as “taking strong action” to escalate tension, China also claims that “no one cares more about peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait than China” and that China is in favor of “peace, cooperation, and collective development.” Incredibly, China is simultaneously attempting to be both the destroyer and defender of peace. The whole world knows that it is China that is constantly disrupting regional peace and stability. It is China’s military ships and planes that continually cross the median line of the Taiwan Strait and engage in military exercises around Taiwan. It is also China that uses long-standing international exchanges as a pretext for provocation. Such actions unilaterally undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the region, violate the basic principle of peacefully resolving disputes as stated in the UN Charter, and challenge the rules-based international order.


If China truly cares about global and regional peace, MOFA calls upon it to shoulder its responsibilities, respect the UN Charter’s principle of peaceful resolution of disputes, immediately halt its military and economic coercion across the Taiwan Strait, and refrain from using long-standing stopover practices as a pretext for military provocation. MOFA further urges the Chinese regime to cease human rights abuses and authoritarian controls within its borders, and looks forward to the flowering of democracy and peace in China.


Meanwhile, outlandish reports and baseless rumors concerning the Vice President’s overseas visit have been circulating. Intentionally or unintentionally, these are supporting China’s threats. The aim of such disinformation is to undermine Taiwan-US relations by sowing seeds of doubt among the public about the government and the United States and influencing the normal democratic processes that are the pride of Taiwan. MOFA once again calls on the media and opinion leaders to act responsibly and stop spreading false information that misleads the public. It hopes to work with the people to support our hard-won democracy, which enjoys worldwide respect.