10/10/2018, 10.11
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Tsai Ing-wen: I will make Taiwan indispensable to the world

Marking the National Day of the Republic of China, the president rails against Beijing, "source of conflict" in the Strait and in the region. The vice president of the Republic of China, Chen Chien-jen, will attend the canonization ceremony of Paul VI and will have a private audience with Pope Francis.

Taipei (AsiaNews) - President Tsai Ing-wen has promised to make Taiwan an "indispensable" member of the international community, accusing China of being "a source of conflict" in the Strait.

In a message for the 107th anniversary of the birth of the Republic of China, the Taiwan national holiday which falls today, Tsai accused Beijing of causing tensions with the island and of conflicts in the region.

“For some time now, China’s unilateral diplomatic offensive and military coercion have not only harmed cross-strait relations. They have also seriously challenged the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” she said.

Tsai said Taiwan could cope with Beijing’s challenges by seeking further support from the US, Japan, Europe, and other like-minded countries and strengthen its strategic significance so that other countries could rally behind it.

The Taiwanese government considers the continuation of the Republic of China, who fled to the island with Chiang Kaishek, following Mao Zedong's takeover in 1949. For Beijing, Taiwan is a "rebel province" that must be brought back to the homeland even by the use of force.

Following Tsai's refusal to accept the "one China" principle [i]at the time of her election as president, Beijing has increased its diplomatic and military pressure on the island. Last April, it launched naval military exercises around Taiwan and in the last two years he has snatched five diplomatic allies from Taipei, reducing to 17 the number of nations that recognize the Republic of China, including the Vatican.

After the announcement of an agreement on the episcopal appointments between Beijing and the Holy See, Taiwan had feared for a short time that this would herald a diplomatic revolution. But the agreement - as explained by the Holy See - is only "pastoral" and not "political".

Meanwhile, as a sign of relations between Taiwan and the Vatican, on October 14th, the vice president of the Republic of China, Chen Chien-jen, will attend the canonization ceremony of Paul VI and will have a private audience with Pope Francis. On this occasion he will invite him to visit the island, never before visited by a pontiff.


[i] The "One China" principle establishes that there is only one country-China, even if governed by two different governments, the Republic of China (Taipei) and the People's Republic of China (Beijing). However, each of the two governments interprets it from their own viewpoint. The United States also recognizes the One China and sees Taiwan as "part of China". The US promised Taiwanese military defense if the island was attacked and subdued by force.


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