Taiwan strengthens defenses as tensions in China escalate Taiwan

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President Tsai Ing-wen on Saturday pledged to strengthen Taiwan’s defenses and work more closely with regional partners on security by calling for “meaningful dialogue” with China, which claims the island as its own.In a speech on Taiwan National Day, Tsai said the government would continue to modernize the island’s defense capabilities and strengthen its asymmetric warfare capability to “cope with military expansion and provocation across the Taiwan Strait ”. Asymmetric warfare is designed to make any Chinese attack difficult and expensive, for example with smart mines and portable missiles.

She also stressed the need for cross-strait dialogue to reduce tensions.

“As long as the Beijing authorities are willing to resolve the antagonisms and improve the relations between the straits, while preserving parity and dignity, we are ready to work together to facilitate a constructive dialogue,” she said. .

“Maintaining stability in cross-strait relations is in the interest of both sides. We are determined to maintain stability between the two shores, but this is not something Taiwan can do on its own; it is the joint responsibility of both parties. ”

Autonomous Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, has come under increasing pressure from Beijing since Tsai was first elected in 2016. It has stepped up maneuvers since returning to power in a shift in power. field in January and intensified the activity of the air forces. near the island in recent weeks, occasionally crossing the sensitive midline of the Taiwan Strait which normally serves as an unofficial buffer zone.

Taiwan is modernizing its army and developing its asymmetric warfare capability [File: Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA]

China says it is responding to “collusion” between Washington and Taipei, and is angered by growing US support for the island.

Plead for good

The United States is Taiwan’s largest funder, but like most countries, it does not have formal diplomatic relations with the island. He pushed Taiwan to modernize its army so that the country could become a small but difficult to attack “porcupine”.

Tsai was re-elected on a promise to stand up to China, as well as her commitment to democracy and human rights, two values ​​she re-emphasized on Saturday.

Noting sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea, East China Sea and along the Indo-China border, as well as China’s imposition of the National Security Law on Hong Kong, Tsai said ‘it was’ clear that democracy, peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific is currently facing serious challenges.

Taiwan would continue to forge alliances with like-minded nations, she said.

“We want to stand up for the forces of good and share our progressive and good faith values ​​with the whole world,” Tsai told the crowd.

National Day celebrations have been cut back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Tsai devoted much of his speech to the success of Taiwan’s response to the disease and the heroism of those in first place. line.



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