You Si-kun, the speaker of Taiwan's Parliament, spoke at the International Religious Freedom Summit on Wednesday and voiced why it is important that free nations protect Taiwan.
"If Taiwan falls into the sphere of influence of CCP (Chinese Communist Party), then the beacon of democracy will be destroyed. And China may invade the first island chain and will cause a threat to the entire world," he said.
Freedom House’s 2022 Freedom in the World report ranked Taiwan a perfect score of 4 concerning religious freedom.
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The speaker added, "Taiwan has shown that democracy, born of the West, can indeed flourish in Chinese-speaking regions."
The incursions by the Chinese military have become more regular. Beijing has continued to fly military planes near Taiwan in an effort to reinforce its stance that the island is part of China.
U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan, in a memo last month, instructed officers to be prepared for a U.S. -China conflict over Taiwan in 2025.
An annual report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom stated, "The communist Chinese government has created a high-tech surveillance state, utilizing facial recognition and artificial intelligence to monitor and harass Christians, Tibetan Buddhists, Falon Gong and other religions."
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It also noted that an estimated 900,000-1.8 million Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and other Muslims have been detained in more than 1,300 concentration camps in Xinjiang.
Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, spoke at the summit on Tuesday and said the Chinese Communist Party is conducting an all-out assault on religion.
"They are committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims. The stories of forced sterilizations, forced abortions, brainwashing and even murder are horrifying," he said.
Former Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., said there should be a "total outright ban" on any firms representing China.
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"How can any lobbying firm in [Washington] that we're seeing today, a law firm, represent China when they're committing genocide, genocide against Uyghur women. … How do you go up on the Hill and say, 'I'm representing Chinese interests," he said.
In response to the ongoing criticism against his country, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2021 that there are "basic facts [that] show that there has never been so-called genocide, forced labor or religious oppression in Xinjiang."
"Such inflammatory accusations are fabricated out of ignorance and prejudice. They are simply malicious and politically driven hype and couldn’t be [farther] from the truth," he said at the time.
Reuters contributed to this report.