A defiant Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has said she will boost “national security” in the face of what she described as Chinese pressure to assert sovereignty over the self-rule island.
Tsai used a National Day speech on Wednesday to say that her government’s “most important task is to strengthen national security, economy, and the social safety net.”
“We will continue to make Taiwan stronger, and irreplaceable in the global community. This is Taiwan’s niche for sustainable survival,” she said during a televised speech.
She also accused China of “seriously challenging” peace and stability in the region through “intimidation and diplomatic pressure” which she claimed “not only hurts relations between both sides, but seriously challenges the peaceful stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
Tsai was apparently echoing remarks by US Vice President Mike Pence who on Thursday accused the Chinese government of being a negative influence on both the US and the rest of the world.
Pence also condemned what he called Beijing’s efforts to strip the island of its diplomatic allies around the world.
This year Taiwan has lost three allies, who switched diplomatic allegiance to Beijing, leaving it now with just 17.