War with China ‘absolutely not an option’ — Taiwan President

Taiwan President, Tsai Ing-wen

Taiwan claims that starting a war with China is not an option at all. 

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Monday that war between Taiwan and China is “absolutely not an option.” She also reaffirmed her desire to hold talks with Beijing and promised to strengthen the island’s defenses, particularly with precision missiles.

Her most recent offer was once more rejected by China, who claimed the island was an integral part of its territory.

Democratic Taiwan, which China claims as its own, is coming under more and more military and political pressure from Beijing, particularly in the wake of Chinese war simulations that took place in early August after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei.

Given Taiwan’s dominating position as a manufacturer of semiconductors used in everything from smartphones and tablets to fighter jets, any confrontation over Taiwan might involve the United States, Japan, and maybe much of the rest of the world. It could also devastate the global economy.

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Tsai said it was “regrettable” that China has increased its intimidation and jeopardized peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the surrounding area during her national day speech outside the presidential office under a grey sky.

According to her, China should not believe that Taiwan’s people are willing to compromise on their devotion to democracy and freedom.

“I want to make clear to the Beijing authorities that armed confrontation is absolutely not an option for our two sides. Only by respecting the commitment of the Taiwanese people to our sovereignty, democracy, and freedom can there be a foundation for resuming constructive interaction across the Taiwan Strait.”

Taiwan is a part of China, “has no president, and is not an independent country,” according to Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, who was speaking in Beijing.

“The root cause of the current tensions in the Taiwan Strait lies in the Democratic Progressive Party authorities’ stubborn insistence on Taiwan independence and secession,” she said, referring to Taiwan’s ruling party. “We are willing to create a broad space for peaceful reunification, but we will never leave any space for Taiwan independence and secession activities.”

China labels Tsai, who was re-elected with overwhelming support in 2020 on a campaign of defying Beijing, a separatist and won’t communicate with her.

Tsai’s address was delivered less than a week before the opening of the congress of China’s ruling Communist Party in Beijing, where President Xi Jinping is largely anticipated to win an unprecedented third five-year term.

Tsai was seeking to “clearly convey” her views to the world and Beijing, a senior official familiar with her thinking told reporters on the condition of anonymity.

The official said, “Standing firm on the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is the main axis of Tsai’s comments on cross-strait relations this year,” adding that this was the expectation and responsibility of both Taipei and Beijing in the eyes of the international community.