Taiwan says China threatens international security

China is becoming an international threat and is in desperate need of political and economic reform, said Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s representative to the United States.

“China is going backward continually by being authoritarian,” Wu said. “Most of its problems, like pollution, corruption, inequality and social unrest, are growing.”

Wu made his comments during a forum at the Hinckley Institute of Politics yesterday. He discussed Taiwan’s support of U.S. policy and concerns over relations with China.

Taiwan broke from China in 1949 when capitalists fled to the island from the Chinese mainland after the communist revolution. The Chinese government maintains that the island is still part of China.

“We do have bad blood between each other,” Wu said. “The Chinese government continues to insult the Taiwanese president and claims sovereignty over Taiwan.”

Wu said Taiwanese officials are concerned about China’s military build-up. Adding to the alarm, Chinese short-range missiles can easily reach Taiwan.

“As far as I can see, China has been creating trouble and will continue to create trouble for the U.S.,” he said. “It cannot continue this way.”

Taiwan is also concerned about Chinese influence over Taiwan.

“When other countries want to join Taiwan in policies, China tells them ‘No,'” Wu said. “Taiwan has no control in this issue.”

While Taiwan fights for control of its policies, China’s own people are fighting for human rights, Wu said.

“China pledged to improve human rights before next year and the Olympics, but no effort is being made to do this,” he said.

When Wu said China could benefit from following America’s and Taiwan’s example by creating a more democratic government, a former U graduate student from China challenged his position.

“If China could become a democracy, Taiwan might not have to deal with Chinese problems, but the process might be messy,” Wu said.

However, Lily Ren, who graduated in English last year, argued that the United States should stay out of relations between Taiwan and China.

“It is my personal view that it’s useless for the (United States) to help resolve conflict between China and Taiwan,” Ren said. “This is a domestic issue that the (United States) shouldn’t interfere in.”

Ren talked personally with Wu after the forum. He invited her to visit Taiwan and experience the lifestyle and understand its government system.

Jayne Nelson, assistant director for the Hinckley Institute of Politics, was impressed that Wu acknowledged her argument and gave her an opportunity to debate.

“I was impressed with how he considered what Ren, who’s from China, said,” Nelson said. “She even seemed to soften up on what she was saying after talking with him.”

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Joseph Wu spoke at the Hinckley Institute of Politics about China being an international threat to Taiwan, Japan and the United States.