During her speech in front of the presidential office in the capital Taipei, Tsai warned that Taiwan was facing “the most complex situation” in the past 72 years since the end of the Chinese civil war.
“Those who forget their heritage, betray their motherland and want to divide the country, will do no good,” Xi said. He also reiterated the call for Taipei to unite with Beijing under the “one country, two systems” model, as used in Hong Kong – But generally opposed by Taiwan.
In response, Tsai said on Sunday that Taiwan hopes to “ease cross-strait relations” and will not take “immediate action”, but stressed that there should be “absolutely no illusions that the Taiwanese people will succumb to pressure”. “
“This is because the path China has taken does not provide a free and democratic lifestyle for Taiwan, nor sovereignty for our 23 million people.”
Tsai said Taiwan’s position on cross-strait relations remained unchanged.
“It is our position to maintain the status quo, and we will do our best to prevent the status quo from being changed unilaterally,” she said.
Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since the end of a civil war more than seven decades ago in which defeated nationalists fled to Taipei.
However, Beijing considers Taiwan an inseparable part of its territory – even though the Chinese Communist Party has never ruled the democratic island.
In her speech, Tsai presented Taiwan as being at the fore in the battle between democracy and authoritarianism, echoing the theme of this year’s celebrations – “a democratic alliance, making friends around the world.”
“At this time free and democratic countries have been alerted to the expansion of authoritarianism, and Taiwan is at the forefront of the defense of fellow democracies,” she said, after a morning of music and dance performances.
The ceremony outside the presidential office in Taipei was attended by hundreds of people, including public and foreign guests – fewer attendances than in previous years due to COVID concerns.
On Sunday, national flags were displayed on major streets in the Taiwanese capital. At the beginning of the ceremony, the largest ever national flag was hoisted by a helicopter over the crowd as the national anthem.
As part of the ceremony, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said it would display four types of domestic missiles, including the Thunderbolt 2000 multiple rocket launcher, the medium-range Sky Sword II and Sky Bo III, as well as the cruise missile Hsing Fang II. and III are included. .
During the parade, however, spectators did not see the actual missiles when military trucks overtook the stage.
The incursion did not violate Taiwan’s sovereign airspace, which extends up to 12 nautical miles from its coast. The US Federal Aviation Administration defines ADIZ as “a designated area of airspace” where a country “requires immediate and positive identification, location, and air traffic control” to protect its national security.
Last weekend, the US State Department issued a statement calling on China to “stop its military, diplomatic and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan”.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said: “The United States is deeply concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan that is destabilizing, miscalculating and undermining regional peace and stability.” Is.” “US commitment to Taiwan is solid and contributes to maintaining peace and stability within the Taiwan Strait and the region.”
China’s foreign ministry later criticized the US for making “irresponsible remarks”, saying the US “severely undermined the one-China principle”.
Despite the persistent military threat, analysts pointed out that Taiwan has steadily expanded its international presence over the years. Last Thursday, Tsai welcomed former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and a group of French senators to Taipei, as he vowed to deepen cooperation with “freedom-loving democracies” around the world.
Senior Fellow at the Global Institute Taipei, Taiwan, J. “It’s a balancing act,” said Michael Cole. “Taiwan has been seizing the opportunity in recent years to expand its international space… We have seen this with the United States in recent years, but more and more other democracies – large and small – are also challenging. There were impassable red lines defined by Beijing a few years ago.”
For example, Lithuania announced in July that it would allow Taipei to open a new representative office named “Taiwan” – despite having no formal diplomatic relations with the self-governing island. Beijing strongly opposed the move, and both China and Lithuania later recalled their ambassadors amid deteriorating relations.
The military parade on Sunday is an unprecedented display of force to mark Taiwan’s National Day, the island’s national defense ministry said in a statement, which aims to “show the determination, responsibilities and obligation of the national military in the defense of Taiwan”. Is.
“With regards to the attack on Taiwan, they currently have potential. But [China] The price has to be paid,” he said, adding that the price will come down in the next four years.
Chang Yan-ting, a former deputy commander of the Taiwanese Air Force, told Granthshala he believed the missiles’ display was linked to a recent proposal to increase the island’s defense spending. The Defense Ministry last month proposed an additional budget of US$8.7 billion over the next five years for weapons upgrades – including developing new missiles.
Chang Said Sunday Parade Potentially targeted at a domestic audience to garner support for increased military spending, the development of long-range and mobile missiles would be an important part for Taiwan to boost its asymmetric warfare capabilities.
“The best weapon to enhance our precision-strike capabilities is to develop missiles,” he said, as they could be effective for targeting airports and seaports if a military conflict occurs.
“We cannot control whether the Chinese Communist Party has the ability to attack Taiwan, but we are able to control it and ensure that it does not have the motivation to do so,” Chang said. “We need to be able to defend against the first wave of attacks – whether it’s for half a month, a month or two, then we can wait for aid from the international world.”
Granthshala’s Wayne Chang and Nectar Gan contributed.
Credit : www.cnn.com