- Title: President says Taiwan won't be forced to bow to China
- Date: 10th October 2021
- Summary: VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS STANDING STILL AHEAD OF PRESIDENT TSAI'S ARRIVAL
- Embargoed: 24th October 2021 08:28
- Keywords: China Democracy Taiwan Tensions Tsai Ing-wen national day
- Location: TAIPEI, TAIWAN
- City: TAIPEI, TAIWAN
- Country: Taiwan
- Topics: Asia / Pacific,Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002EYKQFD3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Taiwan will keep bolstering its defences to ensure nobody can force the island to accept the path China has laid down that offers neither freedom nor democracy, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Sunday (October 10), in a strong riposte to Beijing.
Claimed by China as its own territory, Taiwan has come under growing military and political pressure to accept Beijing's rule, including repeated Chinese air force missions in Taiwan's air defence identification zone, to international concern.
Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed on Saturday to realize "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan and did not directly mention the use of force. Still, he got an angry reaction from Taipei, which said only Taiwan's people can decide its future.
China has offered a "one country, two systems" model of autonomy to Taiwan, much like it uses with Hong Kong, but all major Taiwanese parties have rejected that, especially after China's security crackdown in the former British colony.
Tsai repeated an offer to talk to China on the basis of parity, though there was no immediate response from Beijing to her speech. Beijing has refused to deal with her, calling her a separatist who refuses to acknowledge Taiwan is part of "one China," and does not recognize Taiwan's government.
Tsai is overseeing a military modernisation program to bolster its defences and deterrence, including building its own submarines and long-range missiles that can strike deep into China.
The armed forces were a major part of the National Day parade Tsai oversaw, with fighter jets roaring across the skies above the presidential office and truck-mounted missile launchers among other weaponry passing in front of the stage where she sat.
Taiwan stands on the frontlines of defending democracy, Tsai added.
(Production: Fabian Hamacher)
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