Tsai Ing-wen Says Taiwan will Resolutely Resist China’s Provocations and Aggression

Tensions between Taiwan and mainland China have risen sharply over the last month since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei. China held military exercises near Taiwan to express its anger at the increased support from the U.S. for Taiwan, an island regarded by Beijing as its sovereign territory.

Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation of Hoover Institution at Stanford University in her office. She mentioned a month-long attack on Taiwan-controlled Kinmen Island and Matsu Island in August 1958.

“Sixty-four years ago, during the Aug. 23rd battle, our soldiers and civilians operated in solidarity and safeguarded Taiwan, so that we have democratic Taiwan today,” she said, using the common Taiwanese term for that battle, which ended in a stalemate with China failing to seize the islands.

“This battle defended Taiwan for us, and it also declared to the world that no threat can shake the determination of the Taiwanese people to defend their country,” Tsai said, in comments released by her office. “We will also show the world that the people of Taiwan have both determination and confidence to defend peace, security, freedom, and prosperity for themselves.”

In 1958, Taiwan counterattacked with the support of the United States. Advanced side guard anti-aircraft missiles and other military equipment sent by the U.S. have given Taiwan a technical advantage. It is often known as the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis and was the last time Taiwanese troops joined against Communist China on a large scale.

Although the U.S. abandoned its formal diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979 and turned to support Beijing, the U.S. is Taiwan’s most important arms supplier.

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Translator: MOS Writing Group team
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