Taiwan’s new president tells China to stop threats, ‘face reality’ of Taipei’s existence

Taiwan’s new president tells China to stop threats, ‘face reality’ of Taipei’s existenceTaiwan’s new president tells China to stop threats, ‘face reality’ of Taipei’s existence
via TaiwanPlus News
New Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te has urged China to cease military and political threats, advocating for peace and stability through dialogue rather than confrontation.
Key points:
  • Lai, who was sworn into office on Monday, emphasized Taiwan’s sovereignty in his inauguration speech and reiterated the island’s commitment to defend its democracy and freedom.
  • China criticized Lai’s speech as promoting separatism, insisting that Taiwan belongs to it and that Taiwan independence is “a dead end.”
  • Aside from strengthening Taiwan’s defenses, Lai pledged to address economic challenges, enhance the social safety net and help advance key fields, including artificial intelligence.
The details:
  • Lai, 64, who previously served as vice president, succeeded former President Tsai Ing-wen after winning a three-way race in January. He and new Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim took their oath of office on Monday, becoming Taiwan’s fifth pair of elected leaders.
  • In his inauguration speech, Lai called on China to “cease their political and military intimidation against Taiwan” and expressed hope that Beijing will “face the reality of the Republic of China’s [Taiwan’s] existence.” Still, he maintained that his government “will uphold the Four Commitments, neither yield nor provoke and maintain the status quo.”
  • China, which sees Taiwan as a renegade province, has long expressed its intent to reunite with the island, using force if necessary. On the eve of Lai’s inauguration, seven Chinese aircraft and seven naval vessels were reportedly detected around Taiwan.
  • While he called for dialogue over confrontation, Lai reiterated Taiwan’s resolve to defend itself “in the face of the many threats and attempts of infiltration from China.”
  • In response, China slammed Lai’s speech as promoting “the fallacy of separatism.” Chen Binhua, a spokesperson from the Taiwan Affairs Office of China’s State Council, said Beijing will “never tolerate or condone any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist activities” and that “both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China” regardless of who governs Taiwan.
  • Aside from strengthening Taiwan’s defense capabilities, Lai sets his eyes on tackling economic issues, enhancing the social safety net, continuing reform efforts, improving public safety and advancing key industries, including AI. “We must do all we can to expedite Taiwan’s transformation into an ‘AI island,’” he said.
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