Liz Truss to warn the West to 'get real' about defending Taiwan
Liz Truss to warn the West to ‘get real’ about defending Taiwan as part of ‘global battle for freedom’ with ex-PM to claim only ‘hard power’ will deter Chinese invasion
- The former premier will this week visit Taiwan where she will meet top officials
Liz Truss will warn the West to ‘get real’ about defending Taiwan as part of a ‘global battle for freedom’ in a speech that is set to infuriate China.
The ex-prime minister will this week visit Taiwan during which she will describe the stand-off between the island and Beijing as ‘the most consequential struggle of our time’.
Ms Truss is expected to meet senior members of the Taiwanese government during her trip, while she will also deliver a hawkish speech to a thinktank on Wednesday.
She will describe Taiwan as sitting on the ‘front line of the global battle for freedom’ and claim only ‘hard power’ will deter an invasion of the island by China.
But the former premier’s planned visit has already been criticised by Beijing, while Tory critics of Ms Truss have accused her of engaging in ‘the worst kind of example of Instagram diplomacy’.
During her address to the Prospect Foundation think tank in Taipei on Wednesday, Ms Truss is expected to accuse Chinese President Xi Jinping of waging an ‘ideological struggle with the free world’.
Liz Truss will warn the West to ‘get real’ about defending Taiwan as part of a ‘global battle for freedom’ in a speech that is set to infuriate China
The ex-prime minister will this week visit Taiwan during which she will describe the stand-off between the island and Beijing as ‘the most consequential struggle of our time’
During her address to the Prospect Foundation think tank in Taipei, Ms Truss is expected to accuse Chinese President Xi Jinping of waging an ‘ideological struggle with the free world’
According to the Sunday Express, the ex-PM will say: ‘I have come here this week at the invitation of the Taiwan Government because I am an admirer of Taiwan and the Taiwanese people. I want to do all I can to support your continued success.
‘I want to increase awareness around the world of the position you are in. I am also here because I believe this is the most consequential place in the world – in the most consequential struggle of our time.’
She is also set to describe Taiwan as sitting ‘on the front line of the global battle for freedom’, adding: ‘The Chinese Communist Party is engaged in an ideological struggle with the free world – they are open about that.
‘This is a battle of ideas as much as it is an attempt to grab power on the global stage.’
At the end of March, Britain successfully concluded negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – a 12-nation trade bloc.
The newspaper reported Ms Truss will call on CPTPP members to now push through Taiwan’s own application for membership, but block China from ever joining.
‘Not only would Taiwan joining boost UK-Taiwan trade, which already stands at £8.5billion, it would also help generate further economic links and resilience for this important democracy,’ she will add.
‘The UK should champion the fast tracking of Taiwan’s accession in collaboration with key members.
‘It is also vital that China is blocked from ever being a member of CPTPP.’
Ms Truss is set to issue a warning to Western nations that China can’t be deterred from attempting to invade Taiwan without ‘hard power’.
‘We cannot pretend there can be meaningful deterrence without hard power,’ she will say.
‘And if we are serious about preventing conflict in the South China Sea, we need to get real about military and defence cooperation.
‘We need a coordinated approach on what exports are licensed to be sent to Taiwan.’
Victor Gao, a media spokesman for the Chinese Communist Party, recently suggested Ms Truss’s visit to Taiwan could heighten tensions and claimed it would ‘further alienate relations between China and Britain’.
Meanwhile, senior Tory MP Alicia Kearns – who chairs the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee – branded Ms Truss’s trip as ‘performative’ and ‘the worst kind of example of Instagram diplomacy’.
‘It is deeply unhelpful because it escalates the normal situation in Taiwan,’ Ms Kearns said, as she highlighted how a recent visit by US politician Nancy Pelosi saw China fire missiles near Taiwan.
‘Taiwanese people already have to live with more Chinese military manoeuvres because of Nancy Pelosi’s visit.
‘Liz Truss doesn’t have any influence any more – this is more about keeping herself relevant.’
A spokesman for Ms Truss hit back at the remarks, saying: ‘The former prime minister has been invited to visit by the Taiwan government.
‘They are better placed to know what is in the interests of the Taiwanese people than the MP for Rutland.’
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