In an exclusive interview with Paris-based AFP news agency, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen called on the other nations to unite against Beijing’s expansionism and to reaffirm their shared values of democracy and freedom. Tsai said she viewed this task as a “challenge for the region and the world as a whole.
“Today it’s Taiwan, but tomorrow it may be any other country that will have to face the expansion of China’s influence,” Tsai noted.
Her comments come three weeks after a war of words between China and Taiwan, in which Beijing rebuked what it called Tsai’s “irresponsible remarks” on the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.
The crosstalk erupted amid growing tensions between the island and its giant neighbor.
China is deeply suspicious of Tsai as she leads the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Ever since Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016, Beijing has ramped up military drills near Taiwan’s coast, sparking fears that it might use military options to bar Taiwan from declaring full independence.
China-Taiwan relations have been patchy ever since the two sides split in 1949 during the Chinese Civil War.