During VP Lai Ching-te’s transit in United States before heading to Paraguay, Bloomberg TV yesterday (Aug 14) broadcasted an exclusive interview with Lai, in which the Bloomberg editor-in-chief and host Joel Weber inquired about his stance of Taiwan independence.

Lai reiterated that there is no framework nor roadmap for “formal independence” as Taiwan is a “sovereign, independent country” itself. The TV show started with the host Weber’s sharp question, “Do the people of Taiwan pursue formal independence? What about you?”  

“Taiwan is already a sovereignty, independent country called the Republic of China,” Lai replied in Bloomberg’s interview, reinforcing President Tsai Ing-Wen’s stance made three years ago, when she has just become the leader of Taiwan in 2020, “The ROC (Taiwan) is not subordinate to the PRC. Both PRC and ROC are not subordinates to each other.” 

Weber further inquired about Lai Ching-te’s roadmap for formal independence. Lai Ching-te stated that “such a framework does not exist.”

Lai explained that his responsibility is to defend Taiwan, uphold its democracy, peace, and prosperity, as well as maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. “We must strive to maintain the status quo because Taiwan is already a sovereign nation.” 

Lai Ching-te mentioned that the tense situation in the Taiwan Strait is not caused by Taiwan but stems from Beijing's increasingly unilateral actions. Beijing not only seeks to annex Taiwan but also aims to alter the international order.  

The Taiwan Strait issue is of international significance, and the “international red line” is also Taiwan's red line and his red line, Lai said. 

James Sheen, a professor from Canada’s York University, commented to local media that the fact of Lai appearing on the cover of Bloomberg, an international magazine, signifies that Taiwan's next presidential election has attracted global attention.

It is also not the first time that Lai made statements about Taiwan independence. In September 2017, as Premier of the Executive Yuan, Lai appeared before the Legislative Yuan for interpellation and stated that he is a political worker who is also a “pragmatic supporter” of Taiwan independence. 

As he said at that time, “We are already a sovereign independent country named the Republic of China (ROC), and there will be no separate declaration of Taiwan independence.”

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TNL Editor: Kim Chan (@thenewslensintl)

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