Improving defence capabilities is key for Taiwan to line up with Aukus, say experts

As Aukus is expected to have some effect in countering China’s military expansion in the Indo-Pacific region, experts think Taiwan needs to strengthen its defence in order to remain in step with regional collaborations, experts tell William Yang

Friday 17 September 2021 15:07
<p>Taiwan's annual Han Kuang military exercise</p>

Taiwan's annual Han Kuang military exercise

A day after the US, UK and Australia introduced the new security pact Aukus, ministers at the annual US and Australian ministerial consultation (Ausmin) expressed their mutual intention to improve ties with Taiwan, characterizing it as a ‘leading democracy’ and a critical partner for both Washington and Canberra.

On Thursday, the new Aukus security pact triggered a harsh response from China, as the foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian criticised the US, Australia and UK for having “obsolete cold war zero-sum mentality and narrow-minded geopolitical concepts.” He said the decision to allow Australia to acquire nuclear technology was an example of extremely irresponsible double standards.

Taiwan welcomed the support from Washington and Canberra on Friday and reiterated its determination not to let any country fight for it. “Building on the solid existing foundations, our government will continue to work closely with the United States, Australia and other countries with similar ideas to expand Taiwan’s international space, safeguard democracy and shared values, and a rules-based international order, and jointly safeguard peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Joanne Ou, the spokesperson of Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry.

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