Taiwan President vows to defend sovereignty and democracy By Reuters

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© Reuters. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen attends a gala on the eve of National Taiwan Day at Hsinchu Air Force Base in Hsinchu, Taiwan on October 9, 2021. REUTERSN / Ann Wang

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TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will pledge to uphold the island’s sovereignty and democracy in a major speech on Sunday, saying she faces more complex and severe challenges than ever before, at a time when tensions with China have increased.

Democratic Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, has come under increasing military and political pressure from Beijing, including this month four consecutive days of massive incursions by China’s air force into the air defense identification zone. from Taiwan.

According to an outline of his national day speech on Sunday, as described to Reuters by a source informed of its content, Tsai will say that Taiwan is at the forefront of defending democracy and facing unprecedented complicated and severe challenges.

Tsai will reiterate Taiwan’s full determination to defend itself and maintain regional peace and stability, and will also emphasize that Taiwan will not “rush forward.”

But when it comes to the sovereignty of Taiwan, there can be no turning back, you will say.

Speaking earlier on Saturday in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to hold https://www.reuters.com/world/china/chinas-xi-says-reunification-with-taiwan-must-will-be-realised -2021- 10-09 “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan and did not directly mention the use of force after the week of tensions with the island that aroused international concern.

Taiwan reacted angrily to the speech, saying that only the Taiwanese people have the right to decide their own future and denouncing China’s coercive tactics.

China refuses to speak to Tsai, who was overwhelmingly reelected last year with a promise to take on Beijing, believing her to be a separatist.

Tsai says that Taiwan is an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name.

He has made strengthening Taiwan’s defenses a cornerstone of his administration to enable him to mount a more credible deterrent to China, which is stepping up an ambitious modernization program for its own armed forces.

Tsai spent Saturday night at a national day reception at Hsinchu Air Base in northern Taiwan, where he thanked the armed forces for their efforts to defend the island.

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