Will not escalate conflict, but…: Taiwan President’s defiant reply to China’s threat

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Amid rising tension with China following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday called on Beijing to exercise restraint. Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan will not escalate conflict, but they will defend their sovereignty.

“With China initiating military exercises in areas around Taiwan today, we call on Beijing to act with reason and exercise restraint. Taiwan will not escalate conflict, but we will resolutely defend our sovereignty, our security and our democracy,” President Tsai Ing-wen said on Thursday.

The Taiwan President’s remark follows as China conducted “precision missile strikes” in waters off Taiwan’s coasts as part of military exercises that have raised tensions in the region to their highest level in decades following a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

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China views Taiwan as part of its territory, despite having never controlled it and has long vowed to reunify the island with the Chinese mainland, by force if necessary.

Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, the first by a sitting US Speaker in 25 years, has angered China. As the 82-year-old top Democrat left Taiwan on Wednesday, the Chinese military conducted a series of naval-air joint drills around Taiwan amid speculation that it may be attempting a blockade of the self-ruled island.

(With inputs from PTI)

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