Tsai marks anniversary of Kinmen bombardment, vows to safeguard Taiwan
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug. 23 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) released a recorded statement Thursday to mark the 60th anniversary of the bombardment of Kinmen Island by Chinese communist forces, saying her administration was committed to safeguarding Taiwan and calling for unity among the people.
In a video on her Facebook page, Tsai expressed gratitude on behalf of the Taiwan people to the front-line troops serving on Kinmen and other military personnel during China's intense artillery bombardment that started on Aug. 23, 1958 and lasted more than one month.
"We can now live in a free, democratic and prosperous society all because of their brave sacrifice for the country," Tsai said in the video.
She said that during the bombardment, the world saw the Taiwan people, regardless of their ethnicity, united and fully committed to protecting the country.
"Our mission of protecting this country and safeguarding Taiwan to preserve its free and democratic lifestyle has not changed," Tsai said. "No matter how fierce the bombardment, we will remain as committed as 60 years ago to safeguarding our homeland."
Since assuming office in 2016, the president said, she has been implementing military reform as a means of ensuring the continued existence of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and protecting the welfare of its people.
"So it is our consensus to fully support the military, and we should serve as their backup," she said.
In terms of current cross-Taiwan Strait ties, Tsai said the government will do its utmost to maintain amicable relations with China but will not give in to pressure or take national security for granted.
"As we look back, we must remember that unity is the cornerstone of peace across the strait," she said. "What we should be passing on to the younger generations is the spirit of the response to the Aug. 23 Bombardment."
(By Lu Hsin-hui and Flor Wang)
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