Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, said on Tuesday that the island’s armed forces are now “more mature” in their fighting abilities and that they are better equipped to battle as a result of having to continually hustle to fend off Chinese troops during recent military exercises.
Angered by what it saw to be a strong display of U.S. support for the island Beijing claims as its own territory, China held war simulations in the immediate wake of United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei last month. Since then, Chinese military activity in the region around Taiwan have persisted.
Tsai made her remarks to members of the air force stationed at the Hualien air base on Taiwan’s east coast. She said that the situation surrounding the Taiwan Strait remained serious and that the danger had not disappeared.
According to a copy of her speech that was made public by the office of the president, she said that “in the face of obstacles, our national military has calmly replied to the enemy’s aims at incursion and have tenaciously guarded the country’s security.”
Tsai went on to say that she was “very proud” of the military forces of her country.
Hangars at the Hualien facility were carved out of the side of a mountain, and Lockheed Martin Corporation F-16s call the site home.
Although Taiwan’s military forces are well-equipped, they are outclassed by China’s. Tsai is in charge of directing a modernization programme and has made it a top goal to increase expenditure on the military.
Organizers for Taiwan’s National Day, which is celebrated annually on October 10, said on Tuesday that the nation’s theme for this year’s celebration would be defence, with the tagline “You and me join together to safeguard the land and defend the country.”
Tsai will preside over a military parade on that day and deliver a keynote address at the event.
The government of Taiwan, which was democratically elected, maintains that the People’s Republic of China does not have the right to claim the island or determine its future because it has never ruled Taiwan and therefore does not have the authority to do so. The people of Taiwan are the only ones who have the authority to do so.
China has never disavowed the use of force in its pursuit to subjugate Taiwan to Chinese rule.