Taipei, Jan 30 (EFE).- Taiwan’s president-elect Lai Ching-te on Tuesday said the island nation would bolster its “asymmetric warfare capabilities” as China continued its coercive activities.
During a meeting in Taipei with a delegation of the United States’ Hudson Institute, Lai expressed gratitude to the US government for continuing “to promote the normalization of arms sales to Taiwan,” allowing the island to enhance its “self-defense capabilities.”
“Taiwan will continue to strengthen its asymmetric combat capabilities, actively carry out national defense reforms, and work with the international community to jointly promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” said the incumbent vice president.
The president-elect emphasized the importance of the Taiwan-US security partnership in maintaining regional peace and stability.
“In the face of drastic changes in the international situation and China’s continuous coercion at the diplomatic, military, and economic levels, Taiwan will continue to respond calmly, strive to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
He said the self-governed island nation would firmly defend democracy, defend peace, and work with the US “countries to continue to play a force for good in the world.”
The Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington, was sanctioned by China last April, accusing it of “providing a platform” for Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to “engage in separatist activities.”
Tsai, who will leave office on May 20 after two consecutive terms, affirmed during a visit to army facilities on the Pescadores Islands on Tuesday that Taiwan would continue to build a “capable and modern” army.
She said this year’s national defense budget would reach a record high of 600.7 billion Taiwan dollars ($19.303 billion).
Taiwan, an autonomously governed island since 1949, has strengthened its military capabilities in recent years, particularly in the face of rising threats from China, which considers it a rebel province. EFE