In a speech commemorating her country’s national day, Taiwan’s president cautioned China that the island would never abandon its democratic way of life and drew comparisons to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
President Tsai Ing-wen contrasted Moscow’s invasion to Beijing’s ambition to one day annex Taiwan in her speech. Beijing has sworn to achieve this, using force if necessary.
She added: “The annihilation of Taiwan’s democracy and freedom would be a catastrophic defeat for the world’s democracies. We cannot overlook the challenge that these military expansions pose to the free and democratic world order.”
At the conclusion of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, Taiwan and China divided.
As a prominent partner of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping has increased diplomatic, economic, and military pressure on Taipei in recent years.
Later this month, Xi is expected to win a third term, and he has made annexing Taiwan a cornerstone of his historic “national rejuvenation” initiative.
Tsai claimed that people in Taiwan, which has developed into a progressive democracy with a distinct Taiwanese identity, would not accept being a part of China.
The Taiwanese people, she added, “have lived and developed together on this land for the past 73 years, developing a strong feeling of identification and belonging.
“We must protect our national sovereignty and our free and democratic way of life, according to the broadest consensus among Taiwanese people and our diverse political parties,” she continued. There is no place for compromise on this issue.