Taiwan president to pledge to defend island’s sovereignty, democracy amid China tensions

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Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen will pledge to defend the island’s sovereignty and democracy in a keynote speech on Sunday, saying it faces more complex and serious challenges than ever before, at a time when China’s With that the tension has increased.

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Democratic Taiwan, which China claims as its territory, has come under increasing military and political pressure from Beijing, including four consecutive days of mass incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification area by China’s air force this month .

As outlined in her National Day speech on Sunday, as Reuters was briefed on its content, Tsai will say that Taiwan is on the front lines of defending democracy and facing unprecedented complex and serious challenges.

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Tsai will reiterate Taiwan’s absolute determination to defend itself and maintain regional peace and stability, and will also stress that Taiwan “will not move forward too quickly.”

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But when it comes to Taiwan’s sovereignty, it can’t hold back, she would say.

Speaking earlier on Saturday in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to realize “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan and not directly mention the use of force after weeks of tension with the island that sparked international concern. .

Taiwan reacted angrily to the speech, saying that only the people of Taiwan have the right to decide their future, and rejected China’s coercive strategy.

China has refused to talk to Tsai, who was re-elected last year by a landslide on a promise to stand up for Beijing, believing she is a separatist.

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Tsai says that Taiwan is an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name.

He has made Taiwan’s security a cornerstone of his administration to establish a more credible deterrence to China, which is pursuing an ambitious modernization program of its military.

Tsai spent Saturday evening at a national day reception at Hsinchu Airport in northern Taiwan, where she thanked the armed forces for their efforts to defend the island.

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