Taiwan President pledges to strengthen island defenses

Taiwan President pledges to strengthen island defenses

by Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will promise to strengthen the island’s defense capabilities amid renewed tensions with China in a major speech marking the National Day on Monday.

China views Taiwan as an integral part of its territory, and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island in August has heightened tensions between the United States and China, prompting military maneuvers from Beijing.

Tsai Ing-wen’s draft speech, described to Reuters by a source, said the Taiwanese president will discuss the idea of ​​”boosting the fighting power of the country’s defenses and rebuilding people’s morale.”

“Besides reaffirming Taiwan’s determination to strengthen its defenses and strengthen its stance on maintaining regional peace and stability, the president will also step up efforts to build combat capability and national defense resilience,” the source added.

Tsai Ing-wen has launched a program to modernize Taiwan’s military equipment, marked by increased defense spending as China maintains its claims to the island.

His speech is expected to be delivered in front of the Presidential Palace in central Taipei, where a military parade will also be held. Tsai Ing-wen will stress that, according to the source, “democratic resilience” is key to protecting Taiwan.

This includes further deepening international cooperation and building “close ties” with the island’s democratic allies, Taiwan’s president is expected to say.

This scheduled speech will come less than a week before the opening of the Chinese Communist Party Congress in Beijing, to which President Xi Jinping is expected to return for a third five-year term.

China has pledged, without excluding the use of force, to work towards peaceful “reunification” with Taiwan on the “one country, two systems” model, a project opposed by all major Taiwanese political parties.

(Report Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard; French version Claude Chendjou)

Reference: www.challenges.fr

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