Taiwan rejects China’s ‘path’ amid show of military force

Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team fly over President Office during National Day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team fly over President Office during National Day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s president on Sunday vowed to defend the island from China’s rising pressure for reunification, after a week of unprecedented tensions with Beijing.

Speaking at the island’s National Day celebrations, a rare show of Taiwanese defense capabilities in the annual parade underlined Tsai Ing-wen’s promise to resist Chinese military threats.

“We will do our utmost to prevent the status quo from being unilaterally altered,” President Tsai said.

“We will continue to bolster our national defense and demonstrate our determination to defend ourselves in order to ensure that nobody can force Taiwan to take the path China has laid out for us,” the Taiwanese leader added.

China claims Taiwan as part of its national territory although the island has been self-ruled since it split from the communist-ruled mainland in 1949 after a long civil war.

Tsai emphasized the island’s vibrant democracy in contrast with Beijing’s deeply authoritarian, single-party Communist state.

“The path that China has laid out offers neither a free and democratic way of life for Taiwan, nor sovereignty for our 23 million people,” Tsai said.

A choir of singers from Taiwan’s various indigenous tribes opened the ceremony in front of the Presidential Office Building in the center of the capital, Taipei.

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Source: AP