Tensions between Taiwan and China have soared in recent weeks. White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien warned yesterday that Taiwan should prepare to deter a Chinese invasion. It came after Beijing accused the United States of being “provocative” as it sailed its USS Barry across the sea between China and Taiwan.
Images released by Beijing only escalated tensions, showing Chinese soldiers “seizing an island” during a live fire exercise.
This move was widely seen as intended to threaten Taiwan with things to come.
Shortly before, Beijing had broadcast an alleged confession of a Taiwanese businessman held captive by Chinese authorities for espionage.
China considers Taiwan to be part of its own territory.
One of the main goals of Xi Jinping – the Chinese president – is to unify the two by 2049.
However, Taiwan has always denied China its wish, continuing to rule itself as an independent state also known as the Republic of China.
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“Here, I want to reiterate the words” peace, parity, democracy and dialogue “.
“We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-border status quo.
“We respect this principle. ”
The One Country, Two Systems framework was in use in Hong Kong and was expected to last until 2047.
Earlier this year, however, China decided to bypass the legalities of the system, prematurely imposing its dominance over Hong Kong.
Many fear that Beijing will try a similar move with Taiwan.
Although others hesitate to draw comparisons.
Sean King, senior vice president of Park Strategies and business advisor for Asia, told Express.co.uk he “didn’t see Taiwan becoming the next Hong Kong” earlier this year.
At the same time, speaking at Taiwan’s National Day celebrations last weekend, Tsai took note of Xi’s recent comments to the United Nations General Assembly that China will never seek hegemony, expansion or establishment of a sphere of influence.
She said, “As countries in the region and around the world are now preoccupied with expanding China’s hegemony, we hope this is the start of real change. “