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World Taiwan won't be forced to bow to China, President Tsai says during National Day celebrations

08:15  10 october  2021
08:15  10 october  2021 Source:   cnn.com

China's Military Aircraft Flights Near Taiwan Hit Monthly Record High

  China's Military Aircraft Flights Near Taiwan Hit Monthly Record High China's warplanes flew 117 sorties off southwest Taiwan in September—the most since public records began—but not every flight is a message for Taipei.Taiwan's Defense Ministry has been publicizing PLA Air Force sorties into its air defense identification zone for 13 months. An ADIZ is a self-declared airspace not regulated under international law, and a part large of Taiwan's zone extends into the Chinese provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangxi, even though it only concerns itself with activity that occurs on its side of the Taiwan Strait median line.

Taiwan will not bow to pressure and nobody can force it to accept the path China has laid out for the self-governing democracy, President Tsai Ing-wen said Sunday as the island celebrated its National Day amid heightened tensions with Beijing.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during National Day celebrations in front of the presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan, on October 10. © Chiang Ying-ying/AP Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during National Day celebrations in front of the presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan, on October 10.

During her speech in front of the presidential office in the capital Taipei, Tsai warned that Taiwan is facing the "most complex situation" in the past 72 years, since the end of the Chinese civil war.

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Her speech came days after China flew record numbers of warplanes into its defense zone in a significant escalation of military tensions. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday vowed to pursue what Beijing called "reunification" with Taiwan by peaceful means.

The military honor guard attend during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan, on October 10. © Chiang Ying-ying/AP The military honor guard attend during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan, on October 10.

"Those who forget their heritage, betray their motherland and seek to split the country will come to no good," Xi said. He also reiterated calls for Taipei to unify with Beijing under a "one country, two systems" model, similar to that used in Hong Kong -- but generally opposed by Taiwan.

In response, Tsai said on Sunday that Taiwan hopes for "an easing of cross-strait relations" and will not "act rashly," but stressed "there should be absolutely no illusions that the Taiwanese people will bow to pressure."

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  5 things to know about China's record surge of warplanes near Taiwan China's record number of incursions of warplanes into Taiwan's defense zone over the past four days plays to Beijing's military strengths while sending potent messages both at home and far beyond the self-governed island, Western analysts say. © Taiwan Ministry of Defense/AP The Taiwan Ministry of Defense released this undated file photo of a Chinese J-16 fighter jet when they announced that PLA aircrafts entered their air defense identification zone.

"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," she said at the National Day celebrations, which marked 110 years of a revolution that ended the last Chinese imperial dynasty.

A couple take a photo with Taiwan national flags during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan. © Chiang Ying-ying/AP A couple take a photo with Taiwan national flags during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan.

"This is because 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 added that Taiwan's position on cross-strait relations remains unchanged.

"Maintaining the status quo is our position, and we will do our utmost to prevent the status quo from being unilaterally altered," she said.

Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since the end of a civil war more than seven decades ago, in which the defeated Nationalists fled to Taipei.

Tensions flare as Chinese flights near Taiwan intensify

  Tensions flare as Chinese flights near Taiwan intensify TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — With record numbers of military flights near Taiwan over the last week, China has been showing a new intensity and military sophistication as it steps up its harassment of the island it claims as its own and asserts its territorial ambitions in the region. China's People's Liberation Army flew 56 planes in international airspace off the southwest coast of Taiwan on Monday, setting a new record and capping four days of sustained pressure involving 149 flights. The actions came as China, with growing diplomatic and military power, faces greater pushback from countries in the region and as Taiwan pleads for more global support and recognition.

However, Beijing views Taiwan as an inseparable part of its territory -- even though the Chinese Communist Party has never governed the democratic island.

In her speech, Tsai presented Taiwan as being at the forefront of the battle between democracy and authoritarianism, echoing the theme of the celebrations this year -- "a democratic alliance, making friends around the world."

"At this moment free and democratic countries have been alerted to the expansion of authoritarianism, and Taiwan is on the forefront of the defense line of fellow democracies," she said, following a morning of musical and dance performances.

The ceremony, held outside the presidential office in Taipei, was attended by hundreds of people, including members of the public and foreign guests -- a smaller attendance than previous years due to Covid concerns.

On Sunday, major roads in the Taiwanese capital were lined with national flags. The celebration also saw the largest national flag ever made flown over the crowds by a helicopter, as the national anthem was performed at the start of the ceremony.

EXPLAINER: How China flights near Taiwan enflame tensions

  EXPLAINER: How China flights near Taiwan enflame tensions BANGKOK (AP) — A recent spate of Chinese military flights off southwestern Taiwan has prompted alarm from the island, which Beijing claims as its own, and is increasing tensions in a region already on edge. The flights are one piece of a complex puzzle in Asia, where the United States and its allies have stepped up their naval maneuvers and Australia announced last month it is acquiring nuclear-powered submarines in a deal seen as a direct challenge to Beijing. Meanwhile, Japan has grown increasingly vocal about China becoming a security threat. © Provided by Associated Press In this photo released by the U.S.

As part of the celebrations, Taiwan's ministry of national defense said it would display four types of domestic missiles, include the Thunderbolt 2000 multiple rocket launcher, medium-range Sky Sword II and Sky Bow III, as well as cruise missiles Hsiung Feng II and III.

During the parade, however, the audience did not see the actual missiles when the military trucks drove past the stage.

Heightened tensions

Beijing has refused to rule out military force against Taiwan if necessary, and tensions have risen in recent weeks after the Chinese People's Liberation Army sent the largest number of warplanes -- including fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers -- into Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) last week.

The incursions did not violate Taiwan's sovereign airspace, which extends 12 nautical miles from its coast. The US Federal Aviation Administration defines an ADIZ as "a designated area of airspace" where a country "requires the immediate and positive identification, location and air traffic control" to protect its national security.

Last weekend, the US State Department issued a statement that called on China "to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan."

"The United States is very concerned by the People's Republic of China's provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability," said US State Department spokesperson Ned Price. "The US commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region."

Chinese State Media Accuses Taiwanese President of 'Arrogance' After Speech

  Chinese State Media Accuses Taiwanese President of 'Arrogance' After Speech "I want to remind all my fellow citizens that we do not have the privilege of letting down our guard," Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, said in her address.During her remarks on Sunday, Tsai said there should be "no illusions that the Taiwanese people will bow to pressure" from China, Reuters reported.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs subsequently criticized the US for making "irresponsible remarks," adding the US has "seriously undermined the One-China Principle."

Despite the constant military threat, analysts pointed out that Taiwan has steadily expanded its international presence over the last few years. Last Thursday, Tsai welcomed former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott and a group of French senators in Taipei, as she vowed to deepen collaborations with "freedom-loving democracies" around the world.

"It is a balancing act," said J. Michael Cole, a Taipei-based senior fellow with Global Institute Taiwan. "Taiwan has been in recent years seizing the opportunity to expand its international space ... we have seen this with the United States in recent years, but more and more other democracies -- large and small -- are also willing to challenge what just a few years ago had been unreachable red lines defined by Beijing."

For example, Lithuania announced in July that it would allow Taipei to open a new representative office under the name "Taiwan" -- despite having no formal diplomatic relations with the self-governing island. Beijing strongly opposed the move, and both China and Lithuania subsequently recalled their ambassadors amid worsening ties.

Military parade

The military parade on Sunday is an unprecedented show of force to mark Taiwan's National Day, with an aim to "show the national army's determination, responsibilities and obligation in defending Taiwan," the island's ministry of national defense said in a statement.

China Will 'Lose Everything' If It Starts Taiwan War—former Marine Colonel

  China Will 'Lose Everything' If It Starts Taiwan War—former Marine Colonel The United States is not legally bound to defend Taiwan in the event of an attack by China and has maintained "strategic ambiguity" for over 40 years.Grant Newsham, who was the first Marine liaison officer to the Japan Self-Defense Forces, told Stars and Stripes on Tuesday that the U.S. needed to clarity its intention to fight and even risk nuclear war on behalf of the democratic island claimed by Beijing.

Last Wednesday, Taiwan's Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng estimated that China could be capable of mounting a "full-scale" invasion by 2025.

"With regards to staging an attack on Taiwan, they currently have the ability. But [China] has to pay the price," he said, adding that the price will become lower in the next four years.

Chang Yan-ting, a former deputy commander of the Taiwanese air force, told CNN he believed the display of missiles were linked to a recent proposal to increase the island's defense spending. The defense ministry proposed last month an extra budget of US$8.7 billion over the next five years to upgrade weapons -- including developing new missiles.

Chang said Sunday's parade was likely targeted at the domestic audience to rally support for increased military spending, adding the development of long-range and mobile missiles would be an important part for Taiwan to boost its asymmetric warfare capabilities.

"The best weapon for elevating our precision-strike capabilities is by developing missiles," he said, because they can be effective for targeting airports and ports if military conflict were to happen.

"We cannot control whether or not the Chinese Communist Party has the ability to attack Taiwan, but we are able to control and make sure it does not have the motivation to do so," Chang added. "We need to be able to defend against the first wave of attacks -- whether it is for half a month, one month, or two months, then we can wait for assistance from the international world."

Taiwan tensions raise fears of US-China conflict in Asia .
BANGKOK (AP) — After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday, Beijing has toned down the saber rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. Experts agree a direct conflict is unlikely at the moment, but as the future of self-ruled Taiwan increasingly becomes a powder keg, a mishap or miscalculation could lead to confrontation while Chinese and American ambitions are at odds. China seeks to bring the strategically and symbolically important island back under its control, and the U.S. sees Taiwan in the context of broader challenges from China.“From the U.S.

usr: 3
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