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Taiwan president vows to defend democracy, way of life

  • 5 Jan 2019

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has insisted her country won't accept a 'one country, two systems' policy favoured by China.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a news conference in Taipei, Taiwan, January 5, 2019. ( Reuters )

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen vowed on Saturday to defend the self-ruled island's democracy and way of life, amid renewed tension with giant neighbour China, which threatens to bring Taiwan under its rule by force.

Tsai's comments came days after Chinese President Xi Jinping said nobody could change the fact that Taiwan was part of China, and that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should seek "reunification".

In response, Tsai has said the island would not accept a "one country, two systems" political arrangement with China, while stressing all cross-Strait negotiations needed to be carried out on a government-to-government basis. 

At a news conference with foreign journalists in Taipei on Saturday, Tsai said it would not be possible to accept the system "without betraying the trust and will of the people of Taiwan."

President Tsai called on the international community to support Taiwan in confronting Chinese threats.

In response to plans by the British to establish a military base in the South China Sea, the president said she respects any country exercising its rights of freedom of navigation in the region.

"Taiwan keeps an open mind about it as long as it helps maintain peace in the region ,"  Tsai said.

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