Taiwan Vows It Won’t Bow to China’s Pressure After Beijing Reiterates ‘Reunification’ Push

© AP PhotoIn this photo taken and released Friday, May 25, 2018, by the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense, a Taiwanese Air Force fighter aircraft, left, flies near a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) bomber that reportedly flew over the Luzon Strait south of Taiwan.
In this photo taken and released Friday, May 25, 2018, by the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense, a Taiwanese Air Force fighter aircraft, left, flies near a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) bomber that reportedly flew over the Luzon Strait south of Taiwan.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.10.2021
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On Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised that his country's drive for a peaceful "reunification" with Taiwan under a "one country, two systems" policy will "definitely" be implemented.
Taiwan's head Tsai Ing-wen has made it clear that Taipei hopes for easing the island’s tensions with China, but that it would not tolerate Beijing’s pressure.
Speaking at a national day rally on Sunday, Tsai pledged that Taiwan would “continue to bolster” its national defence and demonstrate its determination to defend itself “in order to ensure that nobody can force Taiwan to take the path China has laid out for” Taipei.
© AP Photo / Chiang Ying-yingTaiwan's head Tsai Ing-wen (File)
Taiwan's head Tsai Ing-wen (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.10.2021
Taiwan's head Tsai Ing-wen (File)
“This is because the path that China has laid out offers neither a free and democratic way of life for Taiwan, nor sovereignty for our 23 million people”, she asserted.
Tsai also vowed that Taiwan will not “act rashly” in developing its national defence, adding, however, “there should be absolutely no illusions that the Taiwanese people will bow to pressure”, in an apparent nod to China.
“The more we achieve, the greater the pressure we face from China. So I want to remind all my fellow citizens that we do not have the privilege of letting down our guard”, the Taiwanese president underscored.
She insisted that the situation around Taiwan had become “more complex and fluid than at any other point in the past 72 years”, accusing China of increasing its military presence in the island’s air defence zone, which Tsai claimed had seriously impacted her country’s national security.
The remarks come a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated Beijing’s readiness to implement his country's plan for "reunification" with Taiwan “by peaceful means”, in line with the “one country, two systems" policy.
"No one should underestimate the Chinese people's determination and strong ability to defend [our] national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and it will definitely be fulfilled", Xi pointed out.
The statement followed a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report earlier this week that US Marines and special operations forces have been secretly training Taiwanese soldiers on the island “for at least a year” as a way to prepare them for potential threats coming from China.
Neither the US government nor Taiwanese officials have commented on the matter yet. Beijing has repeatedly condemned Washington over its perceived meddling in the affairs of Taiwan, which it considers an integral part of China
In this undated file photo released Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, by China's Xinhua News Agency, two Chinese SU-30 fighter jets take off from an unspecified location to fly a patrol over the South China Sea - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.10.2021
China Sends Nearly 40 Jets to Fly Near Taiwan's Airspace for Second Day in Row
The WSJ report was preceded by Taiwanese Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng arguing that China might mount a full-scale invasion of the island by 2025. The claims came after China in recent days sent almost 150 military aircraft close to Taiwan, while US and other allied forces conducted drills in the South China Sea.
Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as a breakaway province, while Taiwan maintains that it is an autonomous country, which wants a dialogue with China, but cannot accept Beijing’s proposal for the "one country, two systems" model.
The US does not recognise Taiwan as a sovereign nation, but has informal relations with the island, remaining its biggest supplier of military equipment.
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