Faced with Chinese pressure, the Taiwanese president pledges to “walk” in the world

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen thanked democratic nations for their support for the island in her Lunar New Year message on Sunday and pledged to ‘walk’ the world, sounding a note of defiance in the face of Chinese pressure incessant.

China, which claims the democratically-ruled island as its own territory, has ramped up military activity around Taiwan over the past two years and stepped up efforts to limit its international role, lambasting those who have sought to support Taipei or bolster his ties with her.

In a short, pre-recorded video message a day before Monday’s Lunar New Year’s Eve, the official start of the world’s most important Chinese-speaking holiday, Tsai expressed his gratitude for Taiwan’s growing international support.

“I would like to especially thank all democratic partners for their support of Taiwan over the past year,” she said. “We will continue to deepen exchanges with all countries and make our way in the world.”

Taiwan has been buoyed by support not just from the United States, traditionally its strongest backer, but also from leaders and politicians in Japan, Europe and the industrialized nations of the Group of Seven, all of which have angered Beijing. .

Tsai neither mentioned China directly nor extended New Year’s greetings directly to it, only extending his best wishes to “good friends” around the world celebrating the festival, which is also observed in countries such as Vietnam. and South Korea.

Last year, Tsai wished China a happy Lunar New Year, but said she would not bow to Chinese pressure and reiterated a call for renewed dialogue with Beijing, which China rejected.

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