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Taiwan faces uncertain international situation in 2017: president

2016/12/31 16:36:22

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said on Saturday that Taiwan faces a more uncertain international situation in the first half of 2017, but assured the people of Taiwan that the nation has the strength needed to deal with such challenges.

Changes in U.S. policy under the incoming administration of Donald Trump are likely to change the international situation and Taiwan will need to face the uncertainty that follows, Tsai said at a press conference held on New Year's Eve.

"In the first half of next year, we will focus on dealing with changes in the international situation. The government will work to maintain peace and stability, and will actively seek out more opportunities to contribute to the international community," she added.

Meanwhile, changes are also taking place in the region and across the Taiwan Strait, she said, apparently referring to recent moves by China, including the dispatch of military aircraft and a small flotilla of navy vessels into areas adjacent to Taiwan, as well as Beijing's decision to resume diplomatic relations with Sao Tome and Principe after the west African country terminated formal ties with Taiwan.

The president said the country was more than strong enough to deal with such challenges and urged the public not to worry.

On speculation that she could meet with members of Trump's team and U.S. officials during her transit stops in the United States on her way to Central America next month, Tsai said despite "the imagination of many out there," the plan is merely to stop over in the U.S.

Tsai is scheduled to depart Taiwan on Jan. 7 for Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, four of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in Central America.

She will make a transit stop in Houston on her way to Central America and stop over in San Francisco on the way back.

(By Lu Hsin-hui, Chen Wei-ting and Y.F. Low)
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