Taiwan will be democratic 'for generations:' Tsai Ing-wen

Tawainese President Tsai Ing-wen asserted her country's need to maintain sovereignty, but her speech was marked with a reconciliatory tone

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (photo: DW)
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (photo: DW)


Taiwan intends to have "peaceful coexistence" with China, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said, adding that Taiwan's people would remain "free for generations."

Tsai's assertion for peace between Taiwan and China being the "only option" came as she gave her last National Day speech on Tuesday.

After two terms in office, Tsai cannot run for president in elections to be held in January. During her tenure, Tsai has pushed for dialogue with China, but Beijing has repeatedly rejected her offer for peace talks.

China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as its territory, stopped most communication with her government soon after she was elected as the president in 2016.

What else did Tsai say?

During her speech, Tsai said democracy has thrived in Taiwan despite increased political and military pressure from China adding that it is her duty to "safeguard our national sovereignty and the democratic and free way of life" of Taiwan's 23 million people.

While she asserted the need for self-governance and maintaining the status quo, her speech was also marked with a pacifying tone. She said Taiwan seeks "peaceful coexistence, with free, unrestricted, and unburdened interactions between people across the strait."

"We are willing to take the Taiwan public consensus as a basis... with a process of democratic dialogue and focusing on maintaining the status quo to develop with the Beijing authorities a mutually acceptable foundation for interaction," she said.

She also mentioned Taiwan's recent launch of a domestically manufactured submarine as a major breakthrough in efforts to re-energize the domestic arms industry.

"We took a big step forward in our national defense self-sufficiency and further enhanced the asymmetric capabilities of our military," she said.

Even though Tsai cannot run for elections, her party seeks to stay in power and stand against the Nationalists, who officially want unification between the sides that were divided amid the civil war in 1949.

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Published: 10 Oct 2023, 2:59 PM