His warning came one week after the island reported the largest daily incursion by Chinese military planes into Taiwan's self-declared Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). The incursion -- by 28 Chinese warplanes including fighter jets and bombers -- did not violate Taiwanese sovereign airspace or international law, but it was seen as show of strength by China's People's Liberation Army.
"As Taiwan decision makers, we cannot take any chances, we have to be prepared," Wu told CNN in Taipei on Wednesday. "When the Chinese government is saying they would not renounce the use of force, and they conduct military exercises around Taiwan, we would rather believe that it is real." Wu, who has served as minister of foreign affairs since 2018, was accused by Beijing in May of being a "diehard separatist" after remarks he made during a news conference that Taiwan would fight "to the very last day" if attacked by China.
"Stopping 'Taiwan independence' is the necessary condition for maintaining peaceful cross-strait relations," said Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office. "Joseph Wu has repeatedly and arrogantly provoked 'Taiwan independence' ... we will take all necessary measures to severely punish such 'Taiwan independence' diehards for life in accordance with the law."