On Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised that his country’s drive for a peaceful “reunification” with Taiwan under a “one country, two systems” policy will “definitely” be implemented.
Taiwan’s head Tsai Ing-wen has made it clear that Taipei hopes for easing the island’s tensions with China, but that it would not tolerate Beijing’s pressure.
Speaking at a national day rally on Sunday,
Tsai pledged that Taiwan would “continue to bolster” its national defence and demonstrate its determination to defend itself “in order to ensure that nobody can force Taiwan to take the path China has laid out for” 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”, she asserted.
Tsai also vowed that Taiwan will not “act rashly” in developing its national defence, adding, however, “there should be absolutely no illusions that the Taiwanese people will bow to pressure”, in an apparent nod to China.
“The more we achieve, the greater the pressure we face from China. So I want to remind all my fellow citizens that we do not have the privilege of letting down our guard”, the Taiwanese president underscored.
She insisted that the situation around Taiwan had become “more complex and fluid than at any other point in the past 72 years”, accusing China of increasing its military presence in the island’s air defence zone, which Tsai claimed had seriously impacted her country’s national security.
The remarks come a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated Beijing’s readiness to implement his country’s plan for “reunification” with Taiwan “by peaceful means”, in line with the “one country, two systems” policy.
“No one should underestimate the Chinese people’s determination and strong ability to defend [our] national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and it will definitely be fulfilled”, Xi pointed out.