TAIPEI – Peace between China and Taiwan is a regional matter and the island will fulfill its responsibility of demonstrating goodwill to maintain cross-strait relations, the country’s President Tsai Ing-wen said at a press conference on Friday.
Tsai said that given China’s growing military threat that has created instability in the region, Taiwan needs to strengthen its military capacity to defend its sovereignty, peace and stability in the region.
Tsai, who promised an increase in the country’s military budget, said that as president she was obliged to preserve the country’s sovereignty, peace and stability, and that she and her country’s citizens wished to establish ties between the countries in a reasonable manner.
Taiwan has said that China has carried out 10 military exercises in the surroundings of Taiwan after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October.
She reiterated her promise of fostering peaceful and friendly relations with China, without compromising on the island’s sovereignty.
As a symbol of her country’s commitment towards its defense, Tsai decided to hold her year-end press conference at the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, the primary research and development institution of the country’s Armaments Bureau.
Taiwanese military experts say that the Chinese aerial missions seek to compile information regarding the defenses of the island and its capability to react to Chinese aerial intrusions.
Official sources have indicated there were some 5,000 Chinese spies on the island, with 60 cases of spying since 2002, of which 42 have taken place after 2009.
China considers Taiwan a part of its territory and has threatened to attack the island if it makes a formal declaration of independence, despite the fact that the People’s Republic has never enjoyed control or jurisdiction over the island.