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Combat readiness needed to deter war: Legislative speaker

10/10/2023 03:04 PM
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Legislative Speaker You Si-kun, who also heads the national day organizing committee gives a speech at the opening of the celebration hled outside the Presidential Office in Taipei Tuesday. CNA photo Oct. 10, 2023
Legislative Speaker You Si-kun, who also heads the national day organizing committee gives a speech at the opening of the celebration hled outside the Presidential Office in Taipei Tuesday. CNA photo Oct. 10, 2023

Taipei, Oct. 10 (CNA) Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) underscored the importance of combat readiness to deter a potential war and safeguard Taiwan's democracy at the National Day ceremony held in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei on Tuesday.

Addressing the occasion, You said the people of Taiwan have shown resilience in helping the country break out from the rigid COVID-19 restrictions over the past three years.

He warned, however, that Taiwan still needed to ready itself for possible war given the growing threat from China, especially as democracy has come under attack around the world, including through Russia's attack of Ukraine and the recent Hamas attack on Israel.

Taiwan's democracy was not a gift from heaven but rather the result of a century of sacrifices by revolutionary martyrs, and today Taiwan's democratic advances, including three transfers of power, have been widely recognized internationally, he said.

Among them, he said, were CNN's description of Taiwan as a "bright spot" for democracy in the world and the Economist Intelligence Unit calling Taiwan "Asia's beacon of democracy."

Safeguarding Taiwan is not only a mission of its people, but the common desire of all democratic nations, he said, and the will of Taiwan's people is the country's best defense.

At the same time, You said, countries from around the world have backed Taiwan's democracy, and its international identity has become clearer, helped for example by the Taiwan International Solidarity Act that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2023.

July 26: U.S. House passes bill to safeguard Taiwan's international participation

The measure has yet to become law, as it remains in committee in the Senate.

You said the bill, aimed at countering efforts by China to exclude Taiwan from participating in international organizations, stated that United Nations Resolution 2758 in 1971 recognized the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate government of China but did not apply to Taiwan.

According to the bill, the resolution did not address the issue of representation of Taiwan and its people in the United Nations or any affiliated organizations, You said, arguing that the bill could counter China's long-term distortion of the resolution's meaning.

(By Flor Wang and Kuo Chien-sheng)

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