Taiwan warns its democracy ‘not for sale’

Beijing, Oct 10 (EFE).- Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-wen warned Monday that it would never give up democracy and freedoms, and that fractured relations could only resume with Beijing commiting to Taiwanese sovereignty. 

During a speech to mark Taiwan’s National Day, the president said “the broadest consensus among the Taiwanese people and our various political parties is that we must defend our national sovereignty and free and democratic way of life.

“It is regrettable that in recent years the Beijing authorities’ escalation of their military intimidation, diplomatic pressure, trade obstructions, and attempts to erase the sovereignty of the ROC (Republic of China) have threatened the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the region,” she said, as cited by the official CNA news agency. 

She added that confrontation “was not an option” for Taipei or Beijing, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan and considers the island a rogue province since the Kuomintang Nationalists retreated in 1949 after losing against the communists in the civil war.  

Tsai compared China’s posture toward Taiwan to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen at the Taiwanese National Day celebration. EFE/EPA/DANIEL CENG SHOU YI

Her National Day speech came shortly after comments by Tesla founder Elon Musk suggesting that Taiwan be brought into a “special administrative zone” rustled feathers in Taipei but were welcomed by Beijing. 

Speaking to the Financial Times in an interview published Friday, Musk said: “My recommendation… would be to figure out a special administrative zone for Taiwan that is reasonably palatable, probably won’t make everyone happy.”

“And it’s possible, and I think probably, in fact, that they could have an arrangement that’s more lenient than Hong Kong. I doubt his proposal will be taken up,” he added. 

China’s ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, applauded Musk’s remarks in a tweet on Saturday. 

“I would like to thank Elon Musk for his call for peace across the Taiwan Strait and his idea about establishing a special administrative zone for Taiwan,”

“Actually, Peaceful reunification and One Country are our Two Systems basic principles for resolving the Taiwan question…” the ambassador added.

China’s foreign minister Mao Ning echoed that sentiment and told a press conference on Sunday that he hoped “more and more people would understand and support” the island’s reunification with mainland China, according to local media. EFE 


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