Taiwan is a “sovereign state” and it is not subordinate to China, said Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te, amid escalating aggression from Beijing in the region.
Speaking during an event, Lai said that China’s bullying and aggression against Taiwan are becoming more ruthless, Taiwan News reported.
In his opening remarks at this year’s “Global Taiwan National Affairs Symposium”, Lai said: “It is an undebatable fact that Taiwan is not subordinate to China.”
“No one but the 23 million people who live on this piece of land are entitled to the rights to decide the future of the nation,” he added.
“China’s bullying and aggression against Taiwan are becoming more ruthless, such as by poaching Taiwan’s allies and blocking the country’s participation in the WHA (World Health Assembly) and other international organizations,” he further said.
Since mid-September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its gray-zone tactics by regularly sending planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone and usually consisting of one to three slow-flying turboprop planes.
Over the past few months, Taiwan has reported incursion by Chinese warplanes into ADIZ almost daily.
Last month, Taiwanese premier Su Tseng-chang termed the incursion by Chinese warplanes into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADZ) as “unnecessary” and “thoughtless”.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing.
China has threatened that “Taiwan’s independence” means war.
Wu Qian, spokesperson of China’s Ministry of National Defence, on January 28 “warned” the people wanting “Taiwan independence” and had said “those who play with fire will set themselves on fire, and seeking ‘Taiwan independence’ means nothing but war”.