Tsai seeks talks with Xi despite China contempt for Taiwan

TAIPEI — President Tsai Ing-wen played up Taiwan’s growing global standing and said she sought talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in an inauguration address after being sworn in for a second term on Wednesday.

Tsai said in her socially distanced speech at the Taipei Guest House that she was willing to engage in dialogue with China. “I want to reiterate the words ‘peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue.’ We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo.”

The president said cross-strait relations had reached a “historical turning

Read More

China blasts Taiwan push for ‘independence’ after Tsai speech

TAIPEI — China responded angrily to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s inauguration speech on Wednesday, accusing her of seeking independence and the destruction of cross-strait relations.

“We will never allow any room for Taiwan independence in any kind of form,” said Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council. “China has a strong will, and enough confidence as well as the capability to defend sovereignty and its territory.”

In her address after being sworn in for a second term, Tsai played up Taiwan’s growing global standing and sought talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. While the

Read More

Taiwan is ‘extremely’ important, Japan’s diplomatic guideline says

TOKYO — Japan called Taiwan an “extremely important partner” in this year’s annual foreign policy report submitted Tuesday, a step forward from last year’s description of “crucial partner and an important friend.”

The wording seen in Diplomatic Bluebook 2020, presented by Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi to the cabinet, emphasized the relationship amid mounting tensions over the self-governed island’s status.

Symbolic of the shift in weight, the bluebook devoted a full page to Taiwan, twice as much space as the 2019 edition.

The report states that Japan “has consistently supported” Taipei participating in the World Health Organization as an observer, aligning

Read More

Coronavirus and China loom over Tsai’s second term in Taiwan

TAIPEI — Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen will start her second and final term on Wednesday in a very different world to when she first came to power four years ago.

The economic challenges are huge, as the export-oriented economy has to contend with a global recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic. She is also facing an ever more belligerent China, which is looking to further squeeze Taiwan’s international presence.

Her inauguration comes just days after Taiwan was excluded from the World Health Organization’s annual assembly under pressure from China. This is despite the island’s success in controlling the outbreak —

Read More