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Minggu, 10 Oktober 2021

President Tsai Ing-wen says Taiwan will not be forced to bow to China - ABC News

In a strong riposte to Beijing, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen says her nation  will keep bolstering its defences to ensure nobody can force the island to accept the path China has laid down that offers neither freedom nor democracy.

Claimed by China as its own territory, Taiwan has come under growing military and political pressure to accept Beijing's rule, including repeated Chinese air force missions in Taiwan's air defence identification zone, raising international concern.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday vowed to realise "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan and did not directly mention the use of force.

Still, he got an angry reaction from Taipei, which said only Taiwan's people can decide their future.

Addressing a National Day rally on Sunday, Ms Tsai said she hoped for an easing of tensions across the Taiwan Strait, and reiterated that Taiwan would not "act rashly".

"But there should be absolutely no illusions that the Taiwanese people will bow to pressure," she said in the speech outside the presidential office in central Taipei.

"We will continue to bolster our national defence and demonstrate our determination to defend ourselves in order to ensure that nobody can force Taiwan to take the path China has laid out for us," Ms Tsai added.

"This is because the path that China has laid out offers neither a free and democratic way of life for Taiwan, nor sovereignty for our 23 million people."

Taiwan's most 'complex' situation in decades 

China has offered a "one country, two systems" model of autonomy to Taiwan, much like it uses with Hong Kong, but all major Taiwanese parties have rejected that, especially after China's security crackdown in the former British colony.

Ms Tsai repeated an offer to talk to China on the basis of parity, though there was no immediate response from Beijing to her speech.

Beijing has refused to deal with her, calling her a separatist who refuses to acknowledge that Taiwan is part of "one China".

Ms Tsai said Taiwan's goodwill would not change, and it would do all it could to prevent the status quo with China from being unilaterally altered.

She warned that Taiwan's situation was "more complex and fluid than at any other point in the past 72 years", and that China's routine military presence in Taiwan's air defence zone had seriously affected national security and aviation safety.

Ms Tsai is overseeing a military modernisation program to bolster its defences and deterrence, including building its own submarines.

Its armed forces were a major part of the National Day parade that Ms Tsai oversaw, with fighter jets roaring across the skies above the presidential office and truck-mounted missile launchers among other weaponry passing in front of the stage where she sat.

Taiwan stands on the frontlines of defending democracy, Ms Tsai said.

Reuters

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2021-10-10 05:30:16Z
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