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President Tsai vows to improve Taiwan's military capabilities

2017/10/10 14:15:52

Taipei, Oct. 10 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) pledged Tuesday that the government will work to strengthen the combat and defense capabilities of the nation's armed forces and pursue military reform to help safeguard the country and protect freedom and democracy.

In her National Day address titled "Better Taiwan," Tsai stressed that the country remains committed to maintaining peace and stability both in the Taiwan Strait and across the region.

She also expressed her gratitude to the men and women in uniform for helping safeguard the continued existence of the Republic of China.

"All of you are staunch defenders of Taiwan's democracy, freedom, and way of life," the president said.

Speaking on military reform, Tsai said that as commander-in-chief, she has taken on full responsibility for military reform.

"Faced with the growing demands of modern warfare, we must ensure that our new-generation military focuses not on quantity, but quality. We must be more prepared for growing threats in cybersecurity and espionage, as well as more capable of protecting our critical infrastructure," she said.

"At the same time, the military must be able to carry out joint operations and effectively coordinate missions across different service branches."

Since taking office in May last year, the president said the government has worked to upgrade personnel equipment, refurbish military housing, and refine the system of military conscription.

"We have enhanced the pay system to provide more bonuses. I trust that this commitment has been felt by all of our brothers and sisters in uniform," she said.

Tsai also pledged to continue to build up Taiwan's indigenous defense industry through technical exchanges, including the commitment to build the country's own military jets and submarines.

According to Tsai, the purpose of the reform is not to seek war, but an effort to safeguard Taiwan's freedom, democracy, and way of life, as well as ensure the Taiwanese people's right to decide their own future.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Ko Lin)
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