“We would like to see the day when China becomes a responsible, law-abiding member of the international community.
“We would like China to take more responsibility for maintaining the rules-based order, both regionally and internationally.”
China has never recognized Taiwan’s government and has set a deadline of 2049 for the mainland to be united with the island – by force if necessary.
Beijing again threatened to attack Taiwan this week, warning that foreign politicians who interacted with the self-governing island were “playing with fire”. A spokesman for China’s Bureau of Taiwan Affairs said the country is committed to “upholding sovereignty and territorial integrity” and “disrupting conspiracies for Taiwan independence.”
When asked if he expected Japan and Australia to defend Taiwan if it was attacked by China, Yamagami stated that he believed so.
“If there is blatant aggression like we saw in Ukraine, there will be a big public outcry against the invasion, a lot of sympathy,” he said.
While emphasizing that the future is unpredictable, Yamagami said, “Australia and Japan fully recognize the importance of this robust democracy in Taiwan – 23 million people, almost the population of Australia, have been peacefully transitioning their governments for several years. ”
He said Taiwan is an indispensable part of the global supply chain for essential commodities such as semiconductors and occupies a strategically crucial position in the East China Sea.
“So, all in all, Taiwan is not being written off as a small island entity,” he said.
“When [Japanese] Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said publicly: “Today’s Ukraine could be tomorrow’s Northeast Asia”. We don’t want to see that.”
In a clear reference to the People’s Liberation Army of China, Yamagami said: “We have seen a number of cases in recent times of unilateral attempts to change the status quo through violence and intimidation. It could be in the South China Sea, it could be in the East China Sea, it could be in the Taiwan Strait.
“We’re not the kind of country that succumbs to that kind of coercion or intimidation.”
Secretary of State Penny Wong and Secretary of Defense Richard Marles have both warned of changes to the status quo in Taiwan.
Kishida last month announced a 26 percent increase in defense spending, including plans to acquire long-range missiles and develop a new fighter jet together with Britain and Italy.
Yamagami cited the results of a recent survey by the United States Studies Center at the University of Sydney, which found that 46 percent of Australians supported sending troops to defend Taiwan against China if necessary, while 25 percent opposed it.
A report released this week by a top Washington think tank, based on sophisticated wargaming exercises, found that in most scenarios, Taiwan could repel a Chinese invasion in 2026 with US and Japanese support.
However, the Center for Strategic and International Studies report found that a war over Taiwan would have devastating costs for the US and its allies, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of military personnel and the loss of dozens of ships.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/taiwan-cannot-be-sacrificed-to-china-says-japan-s-ambassador-to-australia-20230112-p5cc30.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_politics_federal Taiwan cannot be sacrificed to China, says Japan’s ambassador to Australia Shingo Yamagami