Liz Truss to use Taiwan speech to warn the west against appeasing China

‘China is the largest threat we face’, says Liz Truss

Liz Truss will warn the west it cannot trust China to follow the rules, in what will be an incendiary speech overnight in Taiwan.

Her visit will be the first to Taiwan by a former British Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher in 1992.

Despite threats from Communist Party officials, an undeterred Truss will warn that the future of Taiwan is a “core interest to the people of Europe”, warning western leaders not to “wash their hands” of Taiwan’s struggles against a bellicose China.

She will draw direct parallels with Russia’s bloody invasion of Ukraine, warning: “A blockade or invasion of Taiwan would undermine freedom and democracy in Europe. Just as a Russian victory in Ukraine would undermine freedom and democracy in the Pacific”.

“Just look at the recent statements by the Chinese diplomat in Europe repudiating the independent existence of the Baltic states. These two theatres are inextricably linked.”

Mrs Truss concludes that the West has a fundamental choice on Taiwan and China – to appease and accommodate, or to “take action to prevent conflict”.

“We must support free democracies like Taiwan in the face of aggression from a Chinese regime whose record is all too clear for the world to see.

“We in the West have a collective responsibility not just to do the right thing by Taiwan, but also to hold the Chinese Government to account for its actions.”

She champions her controversial visit as enabling her to communicate the West’s solidarity directly with the people of Taiwan, a country that is “a shining beacon in the Pacific” and an “enduring rebuke to totalitarianism.”

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Liz Truss, who went head to head in a battle of words with Rishi Sunak during last Summer’s Tory leadership campaign, will yet again throw down the gauntlet for her successor, demanding he follows through on the pledges he made last summer.

She will demand the UK Government “urgently” shuts down Confucius Institutes, which the Prime Minister warned are the Chinese Government “promoting Chinese soft power” by funding Chinese language courses in Britain.

Mrs Truss suggests the service could be provided by organisations with the support of Hong Kong and Taiwanese nationals instead.

She will also say that the UK’s flagship Integrated Review must be amended to clearly describe China as a threat, and demand that the Government rules out “the resumption of the Economic and Financial Dialogue and the Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO)”.

“Because recently there have been too many mixed messages from the free world. There can be no more ambiguity.”

Finally, Mrs Truss calls on Rishi Sunak to support Taiwan joining this CPTPP trade agreement, which Britain itself only joined in March.

“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.”

Last week, a spokesman for the Chinese Communist Government warned Mrs Truss that her visit would only encourage Chinese unification with Taiwan – including by force if necessary.

Speaking to LBC, Victor Gao warned that Mrs Truss’s visit could “inflict mortal wounds to China-UK relations.”

He added that visits by Western Politicians like her to the island “is one of those steps leading the situation towards the direction of going over the point of no return.”

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