President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that China’s persecution of Taiwan is a calculated move to meddle in the nation’s domestic politics and influence upcoming local elections.
Tsai, who is also chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), made the remarks at a meeting of the party’s Central Executive Committee, citing incidents over the past few months such as El Salvador breaking diplomatic ties, the cancelation of Taichung’s right to host the first East Asian Youth Games next year and Beijing’s pressure campaigns against Taiwanese coffee and bakery chain 85°C (85度C) and international airlines.
“We must steel ourselves against the reality that China’s persecution of Taiwan will continue unabated into the election season,” Tsai said.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
“China’s goals in persecuting Taiwan are to strike at our morale and to influence the nation’s domestic politics and election results,” she added.
As Taiwanese have chosen sovereignty and democracy, the government would confront the challenges before it with courage, Tsai said.
The cross-strait relationship is a part of geopolitics and China’s persecution of Taiwan is driven by its quest for regional influence, not internal political differences in Taiwanese political parties about China, she said.
The demands China has made on the nation’s sovereignty has crossed the line for all major Taiwanese political parties and the common denominator of Taiwanese society is that the nation of Taiwan is the Republic of China, she added.
“We must hold this line; we are the ruling party and we are duty-bound,” the president said.
China has intensified its campaign to persecute the nation because Taiwan has strengthened its relationship with major powers on issues of substance and because the DPP administration has refused to make any compromise on national sovereignty, she said.
“I return to my quotation of [former US] president [Ronald] Reagan: ‘Everything is negotiable except two things, our freedom and our future,’” Tsai said.
“We must have the conviction that the harder the test, the more we must keep our faith that we are on the right path,” she said, urging the DPP to support her administration’s efforts to strengthen the nation’s economy and defenses.
“The behavior of our neighbor across the [Taiwan] Strait is out of our hands, but so long as the nation stands together for democratic values and institutions, we control our own destiny,” she added.
Additional reporting by CNA
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