President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday met with several representatives to the UN in New York, where she was making a two-day stopover en route to the Caribbean.
In a speech at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York, Tsai addressed the representatives to the UN from the 17 countries that recognize Taiwan as a country, saying that she hoped they would continue to support the nation’s efforts to gain access to the UN.
“The 23 million people in Taiwan have the right to participate in international affairs,” Tsai said. “Their participation should not be prevented based on political interference.”
“Taiwan will not give in to intimidation,” she said, referring to China’s efforts to suppress Taiwan.
Taiwan’s allies are crucial as its pathway to the rest of the world, she added.
“Your efforts amplify the voice of the Taiwanese people, letting the whole world hear our desires,” Tsai said at the first open event at TECO New York hosted by a sitting Taiwanese president.
Tsai arrived in New York earlier in the day for a two-night layover on her way to Caribbean, where she is to make a 12-day state visit to Haiti; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Saint Kitts and Nevis; and Saint Lucia.
Meanwhile, New York police broke up fights between supporters and opponents of Tsai.
Taiwanese media broadcast footage of the clashes outside the Grand Hyatt, where Tsai is staying during her stopover.
Opponents of Tsai — many waving Chinese flags — chanted slogans and fought with supporters, while one man was seen being detained and handcuffed by police.
“China is firmly opposed to official exchanges between the US and Taiwan,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang (耿爽) said at a media briefing yesterday.
“We urge the US ... to not let Tsai Ing-wen pass through its territory,” he said, adding that the US should not provide a platform for “Taiwan independence separatist forces.”
With the US engaged in a trade war with China, relations between Taipei and Washington have warmed considerably.
Last week, the US Department of State approved a US$2.2 billion arms sale to Taiwan, including main battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles, the first big-ticket military deal for the nation in years.
“Taiwan will not succumb to intimidation,” the Presidential Office said in a statement released as Tsai’s visit began, without specifically mentioning China. “All difficulties will only strengthen our determination to go out to the international community.”
Tsai was yesterday scheduled to attend a business forum and is today to meet students before heading to the Caribbean.
China has poached five of Taipei’s dwindling number of allies since Tsai became president in 2016.
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer
The number of people from Hong Kong applying for residency in Taiwan last year rose 41 percent from a year earlier to 5,858, National Immigration Agency statistics showed. The statistics also showed that 600 applications were filed by Hong Kong residents in the first quarter of this year — three times the number filed in the same period last year — with applicants apparently not deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one day after it was reported that the Chinese government plans to enact new national security laws in Hong Kong, inquiries regarding immigration to Taiwan grew 10-fold, a Hong Kong-based immigration
‘BEGINNING OF THE END’: Democracy advocate Joshua Wong urged Hong Kongers to stand up and fight, and let the Chinese government know that they will not cave Hong Kong protesters yesterday battled with riot police in busy downtown areas, showing their opposition toward China’s dramatic move to crack down on dissent in the biggest demonstration since the coronavirus swept through the territory in January. Police deployed a water cannon and fired tear gas in the Causeway Bay shopping area after hundreds of protesters had gathered to oppose new national security legislation from China. Police warned the crowd they were taking part in an illegal gathering, and later said in a statement that “rioters threw umbrellas, water bottles and other objects at them.” At least 120 people were arrested,
‘TAIWAN IS SAFE’: As there have been no new local cases for 42 days, people should feel free to travel around the nation — as long as they follow disease prevention rules No new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday and only 20 of the people hospitalized after testing positive are still being treated in hospitals, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday in Pingtung County’s Kenting (墾丁) as he promoted a “new disease prevention lifestyle” for the nation. As yesterday was the 42nd consecutive day with no new domestic cases, and experts consider 28 consecutive days with no domestic case — the span of two incubation periods — a sign that a community is relatively safe, Taiwan is safe, said Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC),