Tsai: Taiwan to enhance 'national security' in face of China's pressure
Iran Press TV
Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:23AM
A defiant Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has said she will boost "national security" in the face of what she described as Chinese pressure to assert sovereignty over the self-rule island.
Tsai used a National Day speech on Wednesday to say that her government's "most important task is to strengthen national security, economy, and the social safety net."
"We will continue to make Taiwan stronger, and irreplaceable in the global community. This is Taiwan's niche for sustainable survival," she said during a televised speech.
She also accused China of "seriously challenging" peace and stability in the region through "intimidation and diplomatic pressure" which she claimed "not only hurts relations between both sides, but seriously challenges the peaceful stability in the Taiwan Strait."
Tsai was apparently echoing remarks by US Vice President Mike Pence who on Thursday accused the Chinese government of being a negative influence on both the US and the rest of the world.
Pence also condemned what he called Beijing's efforts to strip the island of its diplomatic allies around the world.
This year Taiwan has lost three allies, who switched diplomatic allegiance to Beijing, leaving it now with just 17.
Last month, the United States recalled its envoys to the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Panama after decisions by those nations to cut ties with Taipei in favor of diplomatic relations with Beijing.
While Washington formally recognizes only Beijing, it remains a close Taiwanese ally and maintains a de facto embassy on the island.
The US in September approved a $330 million arms sale to the self-ruled island. China strongly objected to the United States for the deal and called for its cancellation.
On Tuesday, Tsai and Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez watched as ground and air forces conducted a drill in a further provocation of China.
Tsai paid a visit to Paraguay and Belize in August to boost ties with the only two Latin American nations that maintain ties with Taipei.
Taiwan and the mainland separated amid civil war in 1949. Beijing has vowed to bring the island under its control by force if deemed necessary.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared that the issue of bringing Taiwan under Beijing's control cannot be postponed indefinitely and some analysts believe he is determined to accomplish that feat during his time in office.
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