Tsai rejects Beijing’s ‘1 country, 2 systems’ in favor of peace, dialog

Taipei, May 20 (efe-epa).- Taiwan’s president in her inaugural address on Wednesday rejected the Chinese government’s “one-country, two-systems” policy and reiterated that “peace, parity, democracy and dialog” are the values that cross-strait relations should abide by.

Tsai Ing-wen was speaking at the inauguration of her second term, along with Vice-President Lai Ching-te, at Taipei Guest House in front of dozens of local and foreign dignitaries, all observing social distancing rules due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I want to reiterate the words peace, parity, democracy, and dialog. We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo. We stand fast by this principle,” said Tsai, a supporter of Taiwanese independence. Beijing sees Taiwan as a breakaway province of China.

“Cross-strait relations have reached a historical turning point. Both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term and prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences,” added the president.

“I also hope that the leader on the other side of the Strait (Chinese President Xi Jinping) will take on the same responsibility, and work with us to jointly stabilize the long-term development of cross-strait relations,” she said.

In the event this will not happen, Tsai also referred to the need to improve and expand the island’s defense capabilities, national security, and its alliances with international partners. In recent years, several countries have relinquished diplomatic ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing.

At the beginning of last year, Xi announced that Beijing would “make no promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary means” to achieve reunification with Taiwan.

Among the objectives outlined by the president were also the reduction of international dependence on strategic industries; the consolidation of the island as an international technological benchmark with the development of information and digital, cybersecurity, and biotechnology and medical industries; and the development of renewable energy, from which it hopes to derive 20 percent of overall energy by 2025.

Tsai’s speech was also marked by references to the coronavirus pandemic and the success that the measures the island adopted to prevent the spread of and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 have had so far.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Tsai “on the commencement of her second term as Taiwan’s President. Her re-election by a huge margin shows that she has earned the respect, admiration, and trust of the people on Taiwan.”

“Support for Taiwan in the United States is bipartisan and unanimous,” he added. EFE-EPA


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