Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said in a televised debate that the self-governing island’s democracy remains under direct threat from Communist China, and a new leader needs to be able to protect Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Tsai’s slogan is “Resist China, defend Taiwan.”
“We will not let Taiwan become the next Hong Kong when facing challenges from China,” said Tsai. “Internal unity is the way to resist the pressure of ‘one country, two systems’.”
Tsai further told her audience, “Taiwan’s most pressing challenge arises from China’s expanding ambitions. The situation in our region is ever-more complex and Taiwan’s sovereignty – its free, democratic way of life – is under threat of being stripped away and undermined.”
Tsai has taken a lead in polls in recent months. During the debate, she has called for closer ties with the US and other allies.
“We need to deepen and strengthen our international relations, and at present we are doing so in terms of economics and across the board with many countries,” she said.
Tsai is to face two opponents in the coming presidential elections on January 11. Her main rival Han Kuo-yu from the Chinese Nationalist Party wants closer ties with Beijing. James Soong from the People’s First Party said the next Taiwan leader should make use of the economy’s advantages in geographic and democracy to stabilize cross-strait relations.
According to Taibei Times, Chinese authorities have been meeting with Taiwanese business people in China and mobilizing them to return home to vote in January 11.
The Taiwan Merchant Association Shenzen on Thursday last week issued a memo saying that, following discussions with “authorities,” it would help its members and their family pay for return flights to Taiwan, adding that all family members eligible to vote would receive 400 yuan (US$57.18).
A larger subsidy of 600 yuan would be provided to those taking a specific flight in the early hours of January 10, they said.
At the same time, the CCP regime is waging an online disinformation campaign defaming Tsai, in one instance, saying her doctorate degree was fake.
With the Hong Kong crisis continuing into a new stage of confrontation, many are worried that the Communist regime would use military threats during Taiwan’s presidential elections across the strait and around Hong Kong waters.
According to CCTV, the PLA’s Garrison in Hong Kong conducted a military drill on Saturday to present to the public their training results over the years. The drill which started at 10: 50 included such major programs as joint fire attack, three-dimensional force input and coordinated attacks.
The military has released a video today showing troops carrying out drills and cracking down on protestors in what appears to be a warning aimed at Hong Kong as the city approaches its ninth straight week of demonstrations.
By Winnie Troppie