Tsai calls on Beijing to renounce use of force against Taiwan in New Year address
Taipei, Jan. 1 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Saturday called on China in her New Year address to renounce the use of force against Taiwan in resolving cross-strait differences, as military confrontation would severely impact the economies and people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan and China face challenges economically amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and both governments are responsible for the welfare of their respective peoples, Tsai said.
Over the years, Taipei has called on Beijing to stop its military and diplomatic coercion as such actions are detrimental to maintaining regional peace and stability, the president reiterated.
She reaffirmed that Taiwan will not bow to Chinese pressure while urging Beijing not to misjudge the situation nor allow itself to be taken hostage by the expansion of "military adventurism."
"The use of military means is absolutely not an option for resolving the differences between our two sides," the president stressed.
"Only by upholding peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, with each side working to take care of people's livelihoods and set their minds at ease, can there be the proper space and atmosphere for our two sides to peacefully and collectively address and seek solutions to the problems we face. Only in this way can we reduce regional tensions," she added.
Tsai made the call during her annual New Year address on the first day of 2022.
In her address made at the Presidential Office, Tsai said over the past year Taiwan has faced its ups and downs due to the wave of domestic coronavirus cases.
Taiwan also went through a heated debate over four nationwide referendums, before ultimately all four failed to pass, the president said.
The four initiatives voted on included the issues of nuclear power, pork imports, conservation of algal reefs, and whether future referendums should be held concurrently with national elections.
This shows the high quality of Taiwan's citizens and how the nation can resolve differences via democratic mechanisms and stay united, she noted.
The referendum results show Taiwan's resolution in opening to the world as well as its hope of deepening trade ties with the United States and paving the way for the possible signing of a bilateral free trade agreement, Tsai said.
The government will continue to rally support among members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to bolster its bid to join the regional economic bloc.
It will also seek to enhance Taiwan-European Union exchanges by soon launching a new project with the aim of strengthening supply chain cooperation, she added.
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