‘War is not an option’, Taiwan president says amid China tensions
Taiwan will maintain the status quo of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait despite spiking tensions with China as going to war is not an option for the self-governed island nation, president Tsai Ing-Wen said on Saturday.
“War is not an option. Neither side can unilaterally change the status quo with non-peaceful means,” the president said.
“Maintaining the status quo of peace and stability is the consensus for both the world and Taiwan,” Ms Tsai said in a speech in the presidential office in Taipei marking the seventh anniversary of her governance.
Taiwan will neither provoke China nor bow down to its pressure tactics, the president added.
“Although Taiwan is surrounded by risks, it is by no means a risk maker. We are a responsible risk manager and Taiwan will stand together with democratic countries and communities around the world to jointly defuse the risks,” she stated.
According to US intelligence reports, Chinese president Xi Jinping has ordered the country’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to be ready by 2027 to annex Taiwan.
China maintains its differences with Taiwan are an internal affair, and has asserted that it can take the self-ruled nation by force.
Mr Xi has consistently stressed after coming to power in 2012 that the Taiwan issue cannot be passed on from one generation to another.
This comes amid heightened military and diplomatic pressure on the democratically governed island by the display of military force and carrying out missile launches, in addition to asking the Taiwanese administration to consider China’s sovereignty.
Meanwhile, leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations agreed they were seeking a peaceful resolution to issues on Taiwan, the host of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday.
In April, Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu expressed his concerns regarding the possibility of conflict with China in 2027 and said that the island nation is taking the Chinese military threat seriously.
The Taiwanese president has said that Taipei is in discussion with US president Joe Biden on sending $500m (£401m) worth of weapons aid to Taiwan, as it looked to use the aid to address the deliveries of weapons delayed in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
Even as Ms Tsai has repeatedly vowed to defend Taiwan’s freedom and democracy, Beijing has rebuffed calls for talks from her.