Taiwan Will Not Bow to Chinese Pressure, President Says Amid Tensions

Taiwan will not bow to pressure from China, President Tsai Ing-wen pledged in a speech on Oct. 10 to celebrate Taiwan’s National Day.

“There should be absolutely no illusions that the Taiwanese people will bow to pressure,” Tsai said, vowing to boost the country’s defense “to ensure that nobody can force Taiwan to take the path China has laid out for us.”

“The path that China has laid out offers neither a free and democratic way of life for Taiwan, nor sovereignty for our 23 million people,” Tsai further said outside the presidential office in central Taipei.

Tsai also said that Taiwan was “in a situation that is more complex and fluid than at any other point in the past 72 years” as the country faces heightened tensions with China.

Tsai’s speech came at the end of one of the most tense weeks between the Asian countries, which saw a record number of Chinese military flights into Taiwan’s defense zone.

A day before Tsai’s speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to achieve “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan.

“The ‘Taiwan independence’ split is the biggest obstacle to the reunification of the motherland and a serious hidden danger to national rejuvenation,” Xi said on Oct. 9.

Later on Oct. 10, China denounced Tsai’s address, saying it “incited confrontation, cut apart history, and distorted facts.

Taiwan considers itself as a sovereign state, while China views the island as a breakaway province.

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