Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen marked the New Year with a message for China: Military conflict is not the answer.
“We must remind the Beijing authorities not to misjudge the situation and to prevent the internal expansion of ‘military adventurism’,” Tsai said in his New Year’s speech broadcast live on Facebook on Saturday.
China claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory and has increased military and diplomatic pressure over the past two years to assert its claims of sovereignty.
China warns of “drastic measures” if Taiwan moves towards independence
In Chinese President Xi Jinping’s New Year’s speech the day before, he said that the full unification of “the homeland” is an aspiration shared by the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan claims to be an independent country and has repeatedly pledged to defend its freedom and democracy.
“The army is certainly not an option to resolve disputes between the two shores. Military conflicts would have an impact on economic stability, ”Tsai said. “Our two sides jointly assume responsibility for maintaining regional peace and stability. “
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Taiwan’s position has always been “not to succumb to pressure and not to step recklessly when receiving support,” Tsai said.
Taiwanese President vows to defend “democracy and freedom”
To ease tensions in the region, Taipei and Beijing must “work hard to take care of people’s livelihoods and appease people’s hearts” to find peaceful solutions to the problems together, Tsai said.
Tsai also said Taiwan would continue to monitor the situation in Hong Kong, adding that interference in the recent parliamentary elections and arrests this week of senior officials at pro-democracy media Stand News “have made people even more worried about them. human rights and freedom. of speech in Hong Kong.
Stable governance is Taiwan’s most important goal in 2022, Tsai said.
“We will maintain our sovereignty, defend the values of freedom and democracy, defend territorial sovereignty and national security, and maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. “
(Reporting by Sarah Wu; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Kim Coghill)