As the island celebrates its National Day, Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, has vowed not to give in to China’s rising military threats.
“We … will not act rashly, but there should be absolutely no illusions that the Taiwanese people will bow to pressure,” Tsai said during her speech on Sunday, Oct. 9, in front of the presidential office in the capital Taipei.
“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,” RFI reported.
On Taiwan’s National Day, her words came after Chinese Communist Party (CCP) general secretary Xi Jinping urged for the democratic island’s “unification” with China once again.
Tsai cautioned that Taiwan has been facing the “most complex situation” in the previous 72 years since the Chinese civil war.
“After taking complete control of Hong Kong and suppressing democracy activists, the Beijing authorities also shifted away from the path of political and economic development that they had followed since reform and opening-up began decades ago,” Tsai said.
“I want to reiterate that Taiwan is willing to do its part to contribute to the peaceful development of the region,” Tsai said, urging China to engage in government-to-government discussions, something Beijing has consistently resisted.
Tsai portrayed Taiwan as a frontrunner in the fight against authoritarianism in her speech.
“We will continue to bolster our national defense 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,” she said.
A display of military strength included a flyover of 12 choppers, fighter planes, bombers, an aerobatic display by the Thunder Tigers, and two enormous Republic of China banners carried over the presidential palace by a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, was showcased as Tsai delivering her speech.
The CCP slammed Ms. Tsai’s remarks, claiming they “incited confrontation.”
Last week, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army dispatched the most airplanes into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, including fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers (ADIZ)