Taiwan will not succumb to pressure: President Tsai Ing-Wei in New Year's speechtext_fields
Putting the focus firmly on troubled ties with China, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wei said that the onus was on China to prevent any kind of "military adventurism" in the future as peaceful ties and co-operation were mutually beneficial. The New Year's address by the Taiwanese leader was broadcast live on Facebook.
Taiwan's stance has always been "to not succumb when facing pressure and to not rashly advance when receiving support," Tsai said. To ease tension in the region, both Taipei and Beijing must "work hard to take care of people's livelihoods and calm the hearts of the people" in order to find peaceful solutions to problems together, she added.
The speech comes shortly after Chinese Premier's Xi Xinping's own New Year's address to his nation, wherein he emphasised that the 'reunification' of Taiwan with mainland China was an aspiration shared by the Chinese and the Taiwanese. China does not recognise Taiwan as an independent nation but as a part of its own country which it has repeatedly said it will reclaim.
"The military is definitely not an option for solving cross-strait disagreements. Military conflicts would impact economic stability," Tsai said. "Our two sides jointly shoulder the responsibility of maintaining regional peace and stability."
She also raised the issue of Hong Kong police arresting members of the pro-democracy media outlet Stand News as one which concerned the "rights and freedom of speech" of those in Hong Kong. Taiwan would "hold fast" to its sovereignty, uphold the values of freedom and democracy and uphold peace and sovereignty in the Indo-Pacific region.
Taiwan has been besieged by Chinese intrusion into its airspace over the period of October-December in 2021, as China repeatedly flew warplanes through the area. Senior Taiwanese leaders speculated that China would launch a full-scale invasion by 2025.