Taiwan president vows to defend island as China intensifies reunification pressure

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After a week of unprecedented military tensions, Taiwan’s president has vowed to strengthen the island’s defense in the face of mounting Chinese pressure for “reunification”.

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Addressing a crowd at a National Day rally, Tsai Ing-wen said the route set by China to accept Beijin’s rule offered neither freedom, democracy or sovereignty to the self-governing island’s 23 million people. Ki, and added: “There should be absolutely no illusion that the people of Taiwan will succumb to pressure.”

The situation in Taiwan is “more complex and fluid than at any other point in the past 72 years”, Ms Tsai warned, adding that China’s regular military presence in Taiwan’s air defense sector has seriously affected national security.

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Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping announced on Saturday that his country’s “peaceful” reunification” with Taiwan was complete, culminating in a week of intense military threats that China sent a record number of warplanes into Taiwan’s airspace. needed”.

“No one should underestimate the determination, will and ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.

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Speaking outside her presidential palace in Taipei ahead of a rare display of Taiwan’s defense capabilities at the annual parade on Sunday, Ms Tsai stressed the difference between Beijing’s deeply authoritarian, single-party communist state and the vibrant democracy on the island, which he regards as a “. Sacred “breakaway province.

“We will do our best to prevent the status quo from changing unilaterally,” said Ms Tsai, who won a landslide re-election last year after promising to stand with China.

“We will continue to strengthen our national defense and demonstrate our determination to defend ourselves to ensure that no one can force Taiwan to follow the path China has set for us.”

Ms Tsai has prioritized modernizing the island’s armed forces to strengthen its defense and deterrence, including building its submarines and long-range missiles that can strike deep into China. Taiwan’s government – which Beijing refuses to recognize – is soon expected to vote through a plan to increase defense spending to around £6.3bn over the next five years, on top of the current £12.3bn.

The island has also strengthened its informal ties with countries such as Japan, Australia and the United States, the latter of which recently entered into a new Aukus security alliance with the UK, which has been labeled “highly irresponsible” by Beijing. Given.

Despite rarely isolating China in her presidential speeches, Ms Tsai said on Sunday: “The more we achieve, the more pressure we face from China. So I want to remind all my fellow citizens that we do not have the privilege to let our guard down. “

He added that Taiwan wants to contribute to peaceful regional development, even as the situation in the Indo-Pacific becomes “more tense and complicated”.

Following the address, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense displayed a range of weapons, including missile launchers and armored vehicles, while fighter jets and helicopters rose overhead, followed later by a group of trucks carrying CM32 tanks and missile systems. .

In the past, the Taiwanese government has kept its missile capabilities out of the public eye to avoid appearing provocative, according to Kuo Yu-jen, a defense studies expert at the Institute for National Policy Research in Taiwan.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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