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Taiwan won't 'bow to China' and will fortify its defenses, says president as military tensions mount

Business Insider logo Business Insider 10/10/2021 bdawson@insider.com (Bethany Dawson)
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during the National Day Celebration, following Chinese President Xi Jinpings vow to unify Taiwan by peaceful means, in Taipei, Taiwan, 10 October 2021 (Photo by Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images) © (Photo by Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during the National Day Celebration, following Chinese President Xi Jinpings vow to unify Taiwan by peaceful means, in Taipei, Taiwan, 10 October 2021 (Photo by Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
  • On Taiwanese national day, President Tsai Ing-wen said that it would not "bow to pressure" from China.
  • The comments come the week a record number of Chinese military planes flew into Taiwan's airspace.
  • Tsai has said that she will continue to fortify the island's military defenses.

On Taiwanese national day, President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen has stated that the country would reject all efforts from China to reunify the two states.

Tsai made these comments at celebrations on 10 October, at the end of a historical week for Chinese-Taiwanese relations, wherein a record number of Chinese military planes flew into Taiwan's airspace and Chinese President Xi Jinping vowing to reunify China and Taiwan.

Tsai warned that Taiwanese-Chinese relations are "more complex and fluid than at any other point in the past 72 years," Reuters report. She said China's military incursions into Taiwan's air defense zone seriously affected national security and aviation safety.

The US military has been training troops in Taiwan due to the growing tensions between Taiwan and China. Insider's Ryan Pickerell has the full story.

Tsai has said that she will continue to fortify the island's military defenses in response to the repeated threats from Chinese leaders.


Video: Taiwan calls Chinese military incursions 'over the top' (The Washington Post)

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While vowing no "rash actions" from Taiwan, President Tsai stated that the Taiwanese people would "not bow to pressure."

"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," Tsai said at the national day celebrations, The Guardian report.

"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."

Since the end of China's civil war in 1949 - when the People's Republic of China was established - Taiwan has sworn independence from the mainland. The Communist Party has claimed it as a breakaway province ever since.

China has offered a "one country, two systems" model of autonomy to Taiwan, but all major Taiwanese parties have rejected that, pushing for recognized independence.

Tsai has repeatedly said that Taiwan is an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name, and that she will not compromise on this political stance.

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