Taiwan will continue to strengthen its defenses to ensure that no one can force them to accept the path set by China, which offers neither freedom nor democracy, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Sunday. in a response to Beijing that its government condemned.
Claimed by China as its own territory, Taiwan has come under increasing military and political pressure to accept Beijing’s rule, including repeated Chinese Air Force missions in Taiwan’s air defense identification area. , which is of international concern.
Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed on Saturday to realize “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan And did not directly mention the use of force.
Nevertheless, he received an angry response from Taipei, stating that only the people of Taiwan could decide their future. Addressing a National Day rally, Tsai said she expected tensions in the Taiwan Straits to ease, and reiterated Taiwan “will not act quickly”.
“But there should be no illusion that the Taiwanese people will succumb to pressure,” he said in a speech outside the presidential office in central Taipei. Make sure no one can force Taiwan to follow the path that China has created for us,” Tsai said.
“This is because the path China has taken does not provide a free and democratic lifestyle for Taiwan, nor sovereignty for our 23 million people.” China has offered Taiwan a “one country, two systems” model of autonomy, much like it uses with Hong Kong, but it has been rejected by all major Taiwanese parties, especially China in the former British colony. After security action.
Tsai reiterated her offer to talk to China on equality, but Beijing responded nine hours after she spoke, offering condemnation that the country should “reunite” and demanding independence would have closed the door to talks. Is.
“This speech advocated Taiwan’s independence, provoked confrontation, cut history and distorted facts,” China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said.
“Independence stimulation by Democratic Progressive Party officials is a source of tension and unrest in cross-strait relations and the greatest threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits,” it added, referring to Tsai’s ruling party.
Beijing has refused to deal with Tsai, calling her a separatist who refuses to recognize Taiwan as part of “one China”, and does not recognize Taiwan’s government. She says that Taiwan is an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name, and will not compromise to defend its sovereignty or independence.
Yet Taiwan’s goodwill will not change, and will do everything possible to prevent a unilateral change of status quo with China, she said. Tsai warned that the situation in Taiwan is “more complex and fluid than at any other point in the past 72 years”, and that China’s regular military presence in Taiwan’s air defense sector seriously jeopardized national security and aviation security. has affected.
It is overseeing a military modernization program to strengthen its defenses and deterrence, including building its submarines and long-range missiles that can strike deep into China.
The armed forces were a major part of the National Day Parade Tsai oversaw, in which fighter jets hovered in the skies over the presidential office and truck-mounted missile launchers passed in front of the stage where she was seated.
Taiwan stands on the front lines of protecting democracy, Tsai said. “The more we achieve, the more pressure we face
China. So I want to remind all my fellow citizens that we do not have the privilege to let our guard down. “