Taiwan president hits back at China amid Covid-19 success

Helen Davidson and Lily Kuo |

Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen (C) and Vice President William Lai wave during their inauguration in Taipei on Wednesday. Photograph: Taiwan Presidential Office/AFP via Getty Images

Taiwan will not accept attempts by China to “downgrade” its status, its president has said in an inauguration speech that celebrated the island’s successful fight against the coronavirus and pledged to stand up to pressure from Beijing.

Voters handed Dr Tsai Ing-wen a second term with a landslide win in January, a vocal rebuke of Beijing’s ongoing campaign to isolate the island.

Tsai, who was sworn in on Wednesday, said both sides must find a way to coexist and called for stabilising relations with China, which claims Taiwan as its own and vows it will be brought under control by force if necessary.

“We have resisted the pressure of aggression and annexation, we have made the transition from authoritarianism to democracy,” Tsai said.

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“Although we were once isolated in the world, we have always persisted in values of democracy and freedom no matter the challenges ahead of us.”

“We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo,” she said, referring to the framework under which the troubled region of Hong Kong is governed by Beijing.

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About Cholo Brooks 13159 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.