Taiwanese President: War is not an option, and we will not submit to Chinese pressure
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen vowed on Saturday to maintain the status quo of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, amid high tensions with China that is ramping up military pressure on the democratically-ruled island.
In a speech she delivered at the presidential office in Taipei, on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of her accession to power, Tsai said that Taiwan will not be provoked and will not succumb to Chinese pressure.
Since Tsai took power in 2016, China has intensified its military and diplomatic pressure to force the island to accept Chinese sovereignty, as Beijing considers Taiwan part of its territory and threatens to bring it under its control by force if necessary.
Beijing has rejected Tsai’s invitations for talks, and Tsai has repeatedly vowed to defend Taiwan’s freedom and democracy.
“War is not an option. Neither side can unilaterally change the status quo by non-peaceful means,” Tsai said. “Maintaining the status quo of peace and stability is the consensus of the world and Taiwan.”
For his part, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday that the leaders of the Group of Seven countries agreed to seek a peaceful solution to issues related to Taiwan.
Taiwan is preparing for important presidential elections in mid-January, and the tension with China is at the forefront of the election campaign.