Taiwan Upgrading Its National Defense and Uniting Behind a Common Purpose, Says President Tsai Ing-wen

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 19, 2022 (SKNIS): In the face of threats by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to invade Taiwan (Republic of China) and take the country by force as its own, Taiwan’s President, H.E. Dr. Tsai Ing-wen says that Taiwan will defend itself.

In her National Day address on October 10 in front of the Presidential Palace in Taipei, President Tsai said: “Over the past few years, we have stepped up defense reform and increased our defense budget each year in order to strengthen our national defense capabilities and resilience. Through our actions, we are sending a message to the international community that Taiwan will take responsibility for our own self-defense, that we will not leave anything to fate, and that we will work with our allies to jointly maintain security and stability in the region.”

The first female leader of Taiwan said that the south-eastern Asian country had made significant strides and that “Our domestic efforts to build aircraft and ships have achieved significant results in recent years, with our indigenous submarine project also progressing as planned. Just two weeks ago, Taiwan’s first domestically developed and constructed 10, 000-ton landing platform dock Yushan was officially delivered.”

She also said that Taiwan is making concerted efforts to enhance its military capabilities and train its military personnel in advancing the country’s defense self-sufficiency.

“Forming a military force that can effectively respond to the demands of modern warfare and building an overall mobilization capability that integrates the military and the public are issues that demand our immediate attention. We must ensure that our preparations, supplies, and personnel can be resiliently, accurately, and promptly deployed to address any situation, whether in times of peace, disaster or war,” President Tsai said.

She added: “But most importantly, we must all rally around a common purpose and broaden public awareness of our self-defense needs. Protecting our territory and safeguarding our nation has never been the work of the military alone. Every citizen is a guardian of our nation. In recent times, we have seen Taiwanese of all ages and genders, including young parents, senior citizens, and students without military experience, take it upon themselves to participate in classes on community defense, first aid, and information awareness. This is the true meaning of collective participation in national defense.”

President Tsai emphasized that upholding peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is the joint responsibility of both sides. She said the Taiwanese people have no room for compromise on their national sovereignty and free and democratic way of life and that they will defend these values.

“The Beijing authorities should not make any misjudgement on account of Taiwan’s vigorous democratic system. They must not mistake that there is room for compromise in the Taiwanese people’s commitment to democracy and freedom and thus attempt to divide Taiwanese society by exploiting the fierce competition between our political parties. This way of thinking and acting is of no benefit to cross-strait relations and will only push our two sides further from each other,” she said.

“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,” said President Tsai at the 111th National Day of the Republic of China and the 73rd National Day since the Republic of China government relocated to Taiwan.

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