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
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient
A Taiwanese bird protection group yesterday said that it has been kicked out of BirdLife International — a global conservation partnership — after it refused to sign a statement saying it would never advocate independence. The Taipei-based Chinese Wild Bird Federation said that BirdLife International last week voted to remove it, ending a partnership that had been in place since 1996. Over the past 20 years, the federation has changed its English name three times to satisfy BirdLife International, and recently the international group demanded that it change its Chinese name and sign a statement that it is “formally committing to not