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Taiwan pledges to enhance national security amid China pressure
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 10 - 10 - 2018

TAIPEI, Oct 10, 2018 (News Wires) - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen vowed on Wednesday to boost national security, saying her government would not submit to Chinese suppression as Beijing ramps up pressure to assert its sovereignty over the self-ruled island.
Tsai's remarks came weeks ahead of island wide local elections in late November that are seen as a bellwether for her ruling party's performance in presidential elections due in 2020.
"At this time, China's intimidation and diplomatic pressure not only hurts relations between both sides, but seriously challenges the peaceful stability in the Taiwan Strait," she said in a National Day speech in Taipei.
Taiwan will increase its defence budget every year to ensure it can defend its sovereignty, Tsai said, by upgrading military capabilities and self-sufficiency, including resuming domestic development of advanced training aircraft and submarines.
China, which views Taiwan as a wayward province, has increased military and diplomatic pressure on Taipei, leading to a difficult period for the president and her independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Relations with Beijing have nosedived since Tsai came into office in 2016, with China suspecting that she wants to push for formal independence, a red line for Beijing.
For her part, Tsai has repeatedly emphasised maintaining the status quo since coming to power.
On Wednesday she called for a multi-national effort to fight some types of infiltration, such as the circulation of fake news by certain countries, which she did not name.


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