In a speech on the occasion of the island’s National Day, President Tsai Ing-wen also called for dialogue with China.
President Tsai Ing-wen on Saturday promised to strengthen Taiwan’s defense and work more closely with regional partners on security, calling for a ‘meaningful dialogue’ with China, which claims the island as its own.
In a speech on the occasion of Taiwan’s National Day, Sai said the government will continue to modernize the island’s defense capabilities and increase its capability for unequal warfare “to counter military expansion and provocation from another side of the Taiwan Strait. Unparalleled warfare was designed to make any Chinese attack harder and more expensive, for example with smart mines and portable missiles.
She stressed the need for dialogue across the strait to reduce tension.
“As long as Beijing authorities are ready to resolve conflicts and improve cross-strait relations, we are ready to work together to facilitate meaningful dialogue while maintaining equality and respect,” she said.
“Maintaining stability in cross-strait relations serves the interests of both sides. We are committed to maintaining cross-stability stability, but this is not something Taiwan can bear alone; it is a joint responsibility of both sides.”
Taiwan, a self-governing state that China claims as its own territory, has been under increasing pressure from Beijing since SAI first elected in 2016. Since her return to office in the landslide in January it has intensified maneuvers and accelerated air force operations in the past few weeks near the island, sometimes crossing the delicate midline of Taiwan Strait, which usually serves as an unofficial buffer zone.
China has said it is responding to a “merger” between Washington and Taipei and is angry with the United States’ growing support for the island.
Advocate for good
The U.S. is Taiwan’s largest supporter, but unlike most countries has no official diplomatic relations with the island. This is pushing Taiwan to modernize its military so that the country can become a “pigsty”, small but difficult to attack.
Sai won the re-election on Saturday, reaffirming her commitment to China, as well as her commitment to democracy and human rights.
Observing the sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea, the East China Sea and the Indo-China border, as well as the imposition of China’s national security law in Hong Kong, Sai said, “Democracy, peace and prosperity are clear in Indo – the Pacific is currently facing serious challenges. ”
She said Taiwan would continue to forge alliances with like-minded countries.
“We want to be advocates for good forces and share our progressive and good faith values with the world,” Sai told the audience.
The National Day celebrations were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Sai devoted most of his speech to Taiwan’s response to the disease and the heroism of those at the forefront.