'Annexation & Elimination' Of Taiwan Is China's Great National Cause, President Lai Says

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Jun 16, 2024 - 05:25 PM

Taiwan's recently installed new President William Lai Ching-te issued a blistering critique of China in a speech on Sunday while calling on Taiwan's people to resolutely determine their own fate.

He addressed cadets and officers at the Whampoa Military Academy in Kaohsiung, located in the self-ruled island's south. Lai, who has repeatedly been denounced as an extremist by Beijing since entering office last month, warned his armed forces that China holds as its top priority the "annexation" and "elimination" of Taiwan.

Image source: CNA

His theme was that the cadets must recognize the challenges of the "new era" - which has included Taipei offering talks but which have been frequently rebuffed by China, according to Lai's remarks. China's military has also continued intermittent drills which threaten the island.

"The biggest challenge is to face the powerful rise of China, [which is] destroying the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and regards Taiwan’s annexation and the elimination of the Republic of China as the great rejuvenating cause of its people," he said.

"The highest mission is to bravely take up the heavy responsibility and grand task of protecting Taiwan, and safeguarding the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," he added.

Shortly after Lai's inauguration last month, the Chinese PLA military staged large drills around the island, which included naval ships and warplanes crossing the Taiwan Strait median line.

As for what Taiwan's president is offering in terms of talks to deescalate tensions with Beijing, he told Time magazine days ago in an interview:

  • First, the PRC should recognize that the Republic of China exists. They should be sincere in building exchanges and cooperation with the popularly-elected legitimate government of Taiwan.
  • Second, each issue should be mutually beneficial and reciprocal. For example, if Taiwan allows tourists to go to China, they should allow tourists to visit Taiwan. And if we let our students go to China, their students should be allowed to come.
  • Third, as we conduct exchanges and cooperate with one another, we should share a common conviction to enhance the well-being of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, working toward an objective of peace and mutual prosperity.

During his inauguration speech last month, the newly sworn in Lai had also laid out, "So long as China refuses to renounce the use of force against Taiwan, all of us in Taiwan ought to understand that even if we accept the entirety of China’s position and give up our sovereignty, China’s ambition to annex Taiwan will not simply disappear."

He vowed that his administration aims to "further entrench Taiwan’s democracy" and "maintain peace in the Indo-Pacific." Meanwhile, Taipei continues to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in military equipment from the United States toward that end, and recently there have been reports of US Marines deployed to Taiwan-controlled outer islands which are close to the Chinese mainland.