Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen vowed on Saturday to maintain the status quo of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, amid high tensions with China, which is ramping up military pressure on the democratically ruled island.
Tsai said in a speech delivered at the presidential office in Taipei on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of her accession to power that Taiwan won’t be provoked and won’t succumb to Chinese pressure.
Since Tsai took power in 2016, China has intensified its military and diplomatic pressure to force the island to accept Chinese sovereignty, as Beijing considers Taiwan part of its territory and threatens to bring it under its control by force if necessary.
Beijing has rejected Tsai’s invitations for talks.
Tsai has repeatedly vowed to defend Taiwan’s freedom and democracy.
“War isn’t an option… Neither side can unilaterally change the status quo by non-peaceful means… Maintaining the status quo of peace and stability is the consensus of the world and Taiwan,” Tsai said.
Taiwan is preparing for important presidential elections in mid-January, and tensions with China are at the forefront of the election campaign.