Taiwan’s President calls for ‘meaningful dialogue’ with China

By Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan wants to have “meaningful dialogue” with China on a similar basis, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Saturday while expanding an olive branch at a time of heightened military tension with Beijing, which makes the island sovereign Claims as sugar. Area.

Democratic Taiwan has come under increasing pressure from Beijing, which has intensified air force activity near the island over the past few weeks, including crossing the sensitive middle line of the Taiwan Strait that would normally be an informal buffer area. Serves as

China says it is responding to “collusion” between Washington and Taipei, which is angry at the growing US support for the self-governing island. Beijing sees it as the precursor to declaring formal independence for Taiwan, a red line for China.

Speaking at the National Day celebrations, Tsai described the situation in the Taiwan Strait as “quite tense”. He said that due to disputes in the South China Sea as well as the Sino-India border conflict and China’s tension in Hong Kong, democracy and peace in the region are facing major challenges.

He said that if Beijing could pay attention to Taiwan’s voice and facilitate joint reconciliation and peaceful dialogue, regional tensions could certainly be resolved.

“As long as Beijing officials are ready to resolve contradictions and improve cross-strait relations, as long as parity and dignity are maintained, we are ready to work together to facilitate meaningful dialogue, “Tsai said.

There was no immediate response from China, which cut the formal dialogue mechanism in 2016 after winning office for the first time.

Tsai said he was committed to maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait, but it was the responsibility of both sides.

Nevertheless, she has strengthened Taiwan’s armed forces, and said she would continue to insist on it, neither demanding nor fearing war.

“Our commitment to sovereignty and democratic values ​​will not change, but we will also maintain strategic flexibility and be responsible for change,” he said.

The United States is pushing Taiwan to modernize its military so that they become a “porcupine”, harder to attack China. Washington, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic relations with Taipei, although it has its strongest global support.

(Reporting by Yamoo Lee and Ben Blanchard; Editing by William Mallard)

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