Tsai urges respect for sovereignty on national day
President Tsai Ing-wen says military confrontation in the Taiwan Strait is "absolutely not an option" and is calling on Beijing to respect the island's sovereignty.
During her National Day speech, Tsai said Beijing should not make any misjudgment on account of Taiwan's vigorous democratic system," nor should it attempt to "exploit the competition between our political parties." Tsai said such actions will not benefit cross-strait relations and will only push the two sides further apart, and she stressed that "armed confrontation is absolutely not an option for our two sides".The president went on to say that "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."
The Mainland Affairs Council has marked National Day by calling on Beijing to "respect the island's insistence on Taiwan's sovereignty and democracy" and to "solve problems rationally and peacefully." The statement comes after China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs lashed out at President Tsai Ing-wen's National Day address - blaming her administrationfor the "problems in the Taiwan Strait" due to its "pursuit of independence."
China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiao-guang also accused Tsai of "distorting the nature of cross-strait relations" and insisted that "recognition of the 1992 consensus remains the precondition for any cross-strait dialogue." The council says safeguarding Taiwan's sovereignty, security and democratic way of life is the biggest consensus shared by the island's people and political parties and that will "not be compromised."The council says Beijing is trying to "erode Taiwan's sovereignty and undermine peace and stability" and China's "rash actions and risks that pose a threat to the international rules-based order are "opposed by the Taiwanese people and international community."
Meanwhile, the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) slammed the president’s address and accused the government and the DPP of working to escalate cross-strait tensions. The KMT says Tsai's actions on cross-strait issues have put the island at risk, as there has been "concrete action" taken despite the government persistently saying it is willing to work with Beijing on a mutually acceptable path to peace across the Taiwan Strait.
The KMT is also criticizing Tsai's comments on the coronavirus pandemic, accusing her administration of failing to disclosed documents related to vaccine procurement and describing the Presidential Office as a "false information production centre."
During the KMT's own National Day flag raising ceremony, Chairman Eric Chu accused the DPP of promoting a sense of impending national doom for its own political interests. And he stressed that the KMT's proposed "double D" strategy of "defence and dialogue" is more concrete than the DPP's defence policies. That proposal calls for Taiwan to build up its defence capabilities, while keeping a channel open for dialogue with Beijing for threat reduction and crisis management.
In related news, the Taiwan Statebuilding Party is calling on the government to establish what it's calling "a true Taiwan National Day" by scrapping all holidays that celebrate the Republic of China.The party's secretary-general Wang Xing-huan says the Double Ten day "was imposed on Taiwan by the KMT dictatorship" and that has resulted in confusion, with modern-day Taiwan being identified as a "foreign Chinese nation-state."
At a peaceful protest near the Presidential Building, Wang described that as a "tragedy" and said that Double Ten Day is "not a national day for the Taiwanese, as there is no nationhood for Taiwan." Wang accused successive governments of choosing to celebrate 10 October asthe National Day "to re-enforce the Republic of China's colonial rule over the subjugated people" of Taiwan. And he also said that the government needs to cease holding all Double Ten National Day celebrations.