Taiwan president: We will not bow to Beijing pressure

We will not bow to Beijing pressure, says leader
Tsai Ing-wen was speaking at Taiwan's National Day celebrations in its capital Taipei. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has said Taiwan will not bow to pressure from China and will defend its democratic way of life. Her defiant speech came amid heightened tensions over the island.

She said: “The more we achieve, the greater the pressure we face from China.”

President Tsai Ing-wen’s speech on Taiwan’s National Day came after China’s President Xi Jinping vowed to “fulfil reunification”.

The island considers itself a sovereign state, though China views it as a breakaway province.

China has warned it will use force, if needed, to achieve unification.

In recent days, China sent a record number of military jets into Taiwan’s air defence zone. Some analysts said the flights could be seen as a warning to Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen ahead of Sunday’s National Day.

Last year, Ms Tsai was re-elected by a landslide on a promise to stand up to China. She said in her speech on Sunday that Taiwan was “standing on democracy’s first line of defence”.

The Taiwan president said the island wouldn’t “act rashly” but would bolster its defences to “ensure that nobody can force Taiwan to take the path China has laid out for us”.

That path offered “neither a free and democratic way of life for Taiwan nor sovereignty” for its 23 million people.

China’s military flights into Taiwan’s air defence zone had seriously affected aviation safety and national security, she added, and the situation was “more complex and fluid than at any other point in the past 72 years”.

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