China won't cease bullying Taiwan: president
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug. 22 (CNA) China will not stop its bullying of Taiwan as year-end local elections approach, but the ruling party will spare no efforts to safeguard the sovereignty of the Republic of China (Taiwan), President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Wednesday.
"Following a series of incidents of this kind, we must get prepared, because China is expected to come up with more tactics to bully Taiwan, especially ahead of the November local elections," Tsai said in a Central Advisory Committee meeting of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Since Tsai assumed office in May 2016, China has intensified its pressure on Taiwan in a bid to squeeze the island's presence in the international community.
On Tuesday, El Salvador switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, dealing a fresh blow to the island, which is now left with only 17 diplomatic allies in a tit-for-tat diplomatic battle with China.
Carlos Calleja, a candidate of El Salvador's opposition party ARENA who will take part in the Central American country's presidential elections slated for Feb. 4, 2019, said that his government's decision to break off ties with Taiwan has taken the country by surprise and that there was a lack of transparency in the process. He said he fears the case will have negative effects on the people of El Salvador.
It was the third country to cut official ties with Taiwan this year, following the Dominican Republic and Burkina Faso.
Recently, Beijing has also forced scores of international airlines to label Taiwan as part of China on their websites and has maneuvered to have Taichung's hosting rights for the East Asian Youth Games revoked, as well as the incident involving the Taiwan-based 85°C Bakery Café, she went on.
"China is seeking to erode the morale of Taiwan's people as a means of influencing the political situation in Taiwan and the outcome of the local elections," Tsai said.
The ruling party and government authorities have cautiously assessed all possible scenarios and are poised to take on any challenges to protect Taiwan's sovereignty and democratic values, she said.
"The Republic of China (Taiwan) is the common ground shared by us and the bottom line that we must keep," she stressed.
According to Tsai, China has stepped up its suppression efforts mainly because Taiwan's relations with other major countries have made sustainable progress, which Beijing is not happy about. The second reason is that Beijing knows the DPP will not compromise Taiwan's freedom and future in negotiations with it, she noted.
"We cannot dictate Beijing's acts, but we can build our own future as long as we firmly uphold the democratic values and system," she said.
Following the meeting, Cabinet Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said that despite the pressure from Beijing, the Executive Yuan has asked the relevant authorities to assess the impact of Taiwan joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and to step up communication with local industries and the public.
(By Lu Hsin-hui and Flor Wang)
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