Taiwan’s Tsai says no backing down to Chinese aggression - GulfToday

Taiwan’s Tsai says no backing down to Chinese aggression


Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen makes an opening speech at the World Movement for Democracy summit in Taipei. Reuters

Taiwan won’t back down in the face of "aggressive threats” from China, the president of the self-governing island democracy Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, comparing growing pressure from Beijing to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Tsai’s comments follow the conclusion of the twice-a-decade congress of China’s Communist Party at which it upped its long-standing threat to annex the island it considers its own territory by force if necessary.


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The party added a line into its constitution on "resolutely opposing and deterring” Taiwan’s independence "resolutely implementing the policy of ‘one country, two systems,'" the formula by which it plans to govern the island in future.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen waves during a meeting in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday. AP

The blueprint has already been put in place in the former British colony of Hong Kong, which has seen its democratic system, civil liberties and judicial independence decimated.

Speaking to an international gathering of pro-democracy activists in Taipei, Tsai said democracies and liberal societies were facing the greatest host of challenges since the Cold War.

"Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is a prime example. It shows an authoritarian regime will do whatever it takes to achieve expansionism," Tsai said.

"The people of Taiwan are all too familiar with such aggression. In recent years, Taiwan has been confronted by increasingly aggressive threats from China," she said, listing military intimidation, cyber attacks and economic coercion among them.

The rising Chinese threat has spurred calls on Taiwan for additional defense investments and a lengthening of the term of national service required of all Taiwanese men.

Associated Press


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