China’s foreign influence campaigns have damaged democratic institutions, but Taiwan will continue to work with the US and like-minded partners to counter Beijing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
The ministry made the statement in response to a speech by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on Wednesday.
Pompeo warned about Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence campaigns targeting US states.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
For example, he said that Wisconsin Senate President Roger Roth earlier this year received a letter from Wu Ting (吳婷) — wife of Chinese Consul General in Chicago Zhao Jian (趙建) — asking him to pass a draft resolution praising China’s response to COVID-19.
Although Roth did not accept her request, these types of solicitations are happening across the world and in statehouses throughout the US, Pompeo said.
CCP campaigns targeting state-level officials have been in full swing for years and are increasing in intensity, Pompeo said.
“Much of that activity revolves around pressing state governments not to recognize, trade with or otherwise engage with Taiwan,” he said, citing the case of a New York City Police officer and US Army reservist who this week was charged with allegedly acting as an agent of China.
Pompeo urged senators to scrutinize their state pension funds and ensure their state colleges “aren’t improperly influenced by CCP-linked organizations like the Confucius Institutes and that pro-democracy students from China, Hong Kong or Taiwan studying in Wisconsin are not harassed.”
“We want them here. Make sure they’re not being threatened by pro-Beijing elements on your campuses,” he added.
China has been using any means it can to suppress Taiwan’s international space, while its foreign influence operations that threaten democratic institutions have sparked concerns from the US and other democracies, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said in a statement.
Taiwan and the US share common values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rules of the market, and the ministry will continue to work with the US and other like-minded partners to counter the Chinese government’s infiltration, she said.
In other news, Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) have been referred to as “ambassadors” by local media.
That shows that in the eyes of free and democratic societies, Taiwan’s representative offices deserve to be called “embassies,” even though there is a long way to go to make that a reality, Shieh wrote on Facebook on Thursday.
Shieh said that he was called “ambassador” by a German host of an online program.
He had helped arrange for Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) to appear on the show and discuss Taiwan’s response to COVID-19, he said.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said that as the nation’s performances in various areas have won global acclaim, more people and media outlets in other countries have referred to Taiwan’s representatives as “ambassadors” or used Taiwan in the names of representative offices.
The positive development is a product of the concerted efforts of Taiwanese, he said, adding that stable growth would help the nation win more friends and involvement in the international space.
Additional reporting by Huang Hsin-po
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