Speaking on Taiwan’s “National Day,” Pres. Tsai Ing-Wen said that war between China and Taiwan is “absolutely not an option” while simultaneously reiterating her willingness to talk with China and pledging to boost the island’s defenses.
According to the AP, National Day in Taiwan “evokes Taiwan’s endurance as a separate political entity with a thriving democracy and free press.” China, on the other hand, has not viewed Taiwan as “separate” since the Communist Party swept the former nationalist government in 1949 and they continue to claim Taiwan as part of the mainland.
Tsai, in her speech, made two things crystal clear in regard to China. The first was that war is not an option. The second was that the only way to resume relations between the two countries was for China to respect the “commitment of the Taiwanese people to our sovereignty, democracy, and freedom.”
The Chinese response made it clear that there are no plans for China to acknowledge or respect Taiwan’s sovereignty as a nation.
#Taiwan’s leader warned #Beijing on Monday that the island would never give up its democratic way of life in a national day speech in which she drew parallels with Russia’s invasion of #Ukraine.https://t.co/TR7KBLjtX8
— News18.com (@news18dotcom) October 10, 2022
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning, speaking in Beijing responded saying, “The root cause of the current tensions in the Taiwan Strait lies in the Democratic Progressive Party authorities’ stubborn insistence on Taiwan independence and secession. We are willing to create a broad space for peaceful reunification, but we will never leave any space for Taiwan independence and secession activities.”
Tsai was reelected in 2020 as the President of Taiwan by a landslide, but China considers her a “separatist” and refuses to speak with her. Ning, in her speech, said that Taiwan is a part of China and that Taiwan “has no president and is not an independent country.”
Many around the world fear that the relationship between China and Taiwan is similar to that of Russia and Ukraine and that Russia’s invasion could serve to embolden the Chinese to do the same to Taiwan. The U.S. response to that potentiality, however, would be different.
On “60 Minutes,” Joe Biden said that, “U.S. forces, U.S. men and women, would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.” The hope is that the threat of U.S. involvement keeps the status quo, but only time will tell.