TAIPEI: Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen vowed on Saturday (May 20) to maintain the status quo of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait amid high tensions with China, which has stepped up military pressure on the democratically governed island.
Taiwan will not provoke and will not bow to Chinese pressure, Tsai said in a speech in the presidential office in Taipei marking the seventh anniversary of her governance.
China, which considers Taiwan as its own and threatens to bring the island under its control if necessary, has stepped up military and diplomatic pressure to force the island to accept Chinese sovereignty since Tsai took office in 2016.
Beijing has rebuffed calls for talks from Tsai, regarding her as a separatist. Tsai has repeatedly vowed to defend Taiwan’s freedom and democracy.
“War is not an option. Neither side can unilaterally change the status quo with non-peaceful means,” Tsai said. “Maintaining the status quo of peace and stability is the consensus for both the world and Taiwan.”
“Although Taiwan is surrounded by risks, it is by no means a risk maker. We are a responsible risk manager and Taiwan will stand together with democratic countries and communities around the world to jointly defuse the risks,” she said.