Police in New York had to break up fights between supporters and opponents of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday during a visit to the United States which will likely infuriate Beijing.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s choice of Port-au-Prince as the first stop in her Caribbean tour is highly symbolic of the diplomatic power struggle being played out in the region.
Taiwan’s pro-independence ruling party took a major step on Thursday toward nominating incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen - a thorn in the side of China - as its candidate for a second presidential term.
A populist mayor who favours closer ties with Beijing was announced as the presidential candidate for Taiwan’s opposition on Monday as it looks to unseat President Tsai Ing-wen in upcoming elections.
China is using mainland tourists as “political tools” and the move would create antipathy in Taiwanese people, Tsai told reporters in Taipei.
China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory, has increased its military activity around the island in recent months, responding to what Beijing calls “collusion” between Taipei and Washington, Taiwan’s most important international backer.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visited a low-key but critical maintenance base for fighter jet engines on Saturday, offering encouragement as the Chinese-claimed island’s armed forces strain in the face of repeated Chinese air force incursions.
Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has been for years working to revamp its submarine force, some of which date back to World War Two, and is no match for China’s fleet, which includes vessels capable of launching nuclear weapons.
Speaking at the presidential office, Tsai said that in the past year, Chinese military activity near Taiwan has threatened peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
In a speech after being sworn in for her second and final term in office, Tsai said relations between Taiwan and China had reached an historical turning point. "Both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term and prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences," she said.