Taiwan ‘will not bow to strain’, president says amid China tensions

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen mentioned on Monday the self-ruled island wouldn’t bow to strain after her high-profile journey to Latin America, together with stops within the United States, which drew criticism from China.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen standing by a bit of the Berlin Wall speaks to media on the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S., August 13, 2018. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu

China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, has ramped up navy and diplomatic strain in an try to say Chinese sovereignty over the island, even because the U.S. authorities makes recent overtures to it.

In March, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Taiwan Travel Act — a non-binding invoice encouraging the United States to ship senior officers to Taiwan to satisfy Taiwanese counterparts.

While Tsai was not invited to the United States for an official go to, she met U.S. senators whereas she was there, attended banquets with abroad Taiwanese and spoke of the necessity for sturdy ties with Washington.

The variety of international locations that now formally acknowledge Taiwan has been whittled right down to 18, following strikes by Burkina Faso in West Africa and the Dominican Republic within the Caribbean area to formally swap relations to China from Taiwan this 12 months.

“Taiwan wouldn’t bow to strain. Pressure would solely make us extra decided and united. It would solely increase our willpower to go overseas,” Tsai mentioned at Taiwan’s worldwide airport upon arrival late on Monday after the nine-day journey. She didn’t elaborate.

Tsai mentioned throughout talks with heads of state through the journey, she had “demonstrated Taiwan’s willpower for the worth of freedom and democracy.”

China, which believes Tsai needs to push for Taiwan’s formal independence, has already complained to Washington about her U.S. stopovers on the arrival and departure legs of her journey to Paraguay and Belize up to now two weekends.

Democratic Taiwan is certainly one of China’s most delicate territorial points and Tsai’s U.S. stopovers within the United States, a customary follow for Taiwanese presidents, got here amid an more and more bitter commerce warfare between Beijing and Washington.

While the United States has no formal ties with Taiwan, it’s its most important provider of arms and navy {hardware}, and its strongest unofficial diplomatic backer.

In an indication of the geo-political tensions, a Taiwan bakery chain with quite a few branches in China disappeared from main Chinese meals apps amid requires a boycott after Tsai stopped by for a espresso at certainly one of its shops in Los Angeles

In response, Tsai final week urged individuals in Taiwan to stay united and she or he remained defiant within the face of Beijing’s strain.

“My administration will proceed strengthening each facet of #Taiwan-#US relations. Until subsequent time!” Tsai tweeted upon her departure from a U.S. airport earlier on Monday, together with a photograph of her holding palms with James F. Moriarty, chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan.

Reporting by Yimou Lee and Fabian Hamacher; Editing by James Pomfret and Richard Balmforth

Original article http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters//~3/_VCnZrIBXZo/taiwan-wont-bow-to-pressure-president-says-amid-china-tensions-idUSKCN1L51RZ

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