Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen urged China to stop its “military adventurism.”

According to Reuters, on Saturday, during her New Year’s address, she vowed to continue defending the island’s independence.

“We must remind the Beijing authorities that they should not misjudge the situation” and to avoid the domestic expansion of “military adventurism,” Tsai said Saturday in her New Year’s address, streamed live on Facebook, noting that such moves “have done little to help maintain regional “peace and stability.”

Tsai also appealed for peace to ensure the welfare of their respective citizens, assuring that “the military is definitely not an option for solving cross-strait disagreements” and that “military conflicts would impact economic stability.”

In recent months, China has intensified its military pressure on Taiwan, which it considers its territory, sending Chinese military aircraft on a historically high number of incursions into the Taiwanese air defense zone (ADIZ).

After the Taiwanese president’s speech, the Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman in Beijing Zhu Fenglian said, “We are willing to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification.”

“But if ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces continue to provoke and coerce, or even cross any red line, we will have to take decisive measures.” 

The pursuit of independence will only throw Taiwan into a “deep abyss” and cause a “profound catastrophe,” Zhu added.

Meanwhile, in his own New Year’s message, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared, “The complete reunification of our motherland is an aspiration shared by people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. I sincerely hope that all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation will join forces to create a brighter future for our nation.”

But Taiwan is a democratic government. Its population of about 24 million people democratically elects its rulers and rejects the Chinese regime’s claims of unification to install totalitarian communism on the island. 

The Taiwanese president also showed her support for Hong Kong in her speech, referring to the interference in the legislative elections and the arrests this week of senior pro-democracy media officials, which undermine the freedoms and rights of the Hong Kong people.

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