In New Year Address, President Tsai Calls Beijing to Reject Military Adventurism, Use of Force
China Times & United Daily News, January 2, 2022
President Tsai Ing-wen delivered her New Year address at the Presidential Office yesterday. Meanwhile mainland China sent again military aircraft to disturb Taiwan. When referring to cross-strait relations, President Tsai stated that she must remind the Beijing authorities not to misjudge the situation, and to prevent the spread of military adventurism within their ranks. The use of military means is absolutely not an option for resolving differences between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Both sides should face problems together in a peaceful manner and jointly seek solutions. In this regard, the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) of the State Council reiterated that the mainland is willing to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity and efforts. However, if pro-independence forces continue to provoke and enforce, or even break through the red line, the mainland will have no choice but to take decisive measures.
At the same time, on the New Year's Day in 2022, the mainland sent military aircraft to disrupt Taiwan. According to related information, mainland Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s southwestern air defense identification zone (ADIZ), less than 50 miles from the southern tip of Pingtung County and was driven away by two radio-warning broadcasts of ROC Air Force. In addition to actual countermeasures, the Navy released the "2022 New Year’s Day Image Film", exposing Hai-Feng Shore Based Anti-ship Missile Group along with Hsiung Feng (HF) II and III anti-ship missiles. The military police also made public for the first time the footage of counterattack drills at Taipei Main Station.
After President Tsai, accompanied by Vice President William Lai, attended the New Year’s Day flag-raising ceremony yesterday, she returned to the Presidential Office to deliver the New Year address. She finished talking about the four pillars of stable governance in 2022, emphasizing that in the New Year, stable governance is the most important priority. And then she changed the topic to cross-strait relations. President Tsai stated that in the face of the new economic climate during the pandemic, each side of the strait has its own challenges and its own responsibilities for the well-being of the people. At the same time, both sides also shoulder the responsibility of upholding regional peace and stability.
She stated that over the past few years, we have continued to appeal to the other side of the strait not to deprive Hong Kong of democracy and human rights, and we also strongly protest the military incursions and diplomatic pressure against our side. These actions by the other side have not helped to maintain regional peace and stability.
President Tsai stated, "Our position has always been that we will neither bow to pressure, nor act rashly when we have support." At the same time, we must remind the Beijing authorities not to misjudge the situation, but also to prevent the spread of military adventurism within their ranks. The use of military means is absolutely not an option for resolving cross-strait differences. Military conflicts will impact economic stability. Each side should endeavor to take care of people’s livelihoods and set their minds at ease. Only then will there be proper space and atmosphere for both sides of the strait to face problems together in a peaceful way and jointly seek solutions. Only in this way can we reduce tensions in the region.
President Tsai believes that Taiwan is faced with the challenge of how to maintain steady political and economic progress amid the fierce competition in the election scheduled for the second half of this year. And how to uphold our freedom, democracy, and consensus to connect with the world, especially under China's increasing military and diplomatic pressure, is also a challenge that Taiwan will have to face in 2022.
In response to President Tsai’s New Year speech and the Mainland Affairs Council’s (MAC) recent remarks on cross-strait relations and Hong Kong issues, Spokesperson Zhu Fenglian of the TAO stated on January 1 that current cross-strait tensions are caused by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration’s refusal to recognize the "1992 Consensus," unchecked plotting for "independence" and provocations, and collusion with external forces to fight against the mainland in a bid to change the fact that both sides of the strait belong to one China.
She said that the DPP administration have repeatedly claimed that they are not provocative, but in fact they have continuously produced lies, heightened hostility, and sold hatred for political gains. The mainland sincerely hopes that compatriots on both sides of the strait will work together and move forward hand in hand to counter the adventurism of Taiwan independence and the manipulation by outside forces. Both sides should jointly maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and promote the complete reunification of the motherland.
President Tsai reiterated in her New Year address that military is not an option to resolve cross-strait differences. Both sides of the Taiwan Strait should jointly shoulder the responsibility for regional peace and stability. Spokesman Chang Szu-kang of the Kuomintang (KMT) stated that President Tsai's remarks were more for domestic propaganda. Considering the deadlock arising from lack of mutual trust between the two sides of the strait, there would be no substantial progress in cross-strait relations before the end of her tenure of office.
The KMT’s Cultural and Communications Committee reminded that if President Tsai sincerely hopes to maintain regional peace and stability, she should not hinder various exchanges, increase the spiral of cross-strait hostility, and heighten the risk of misjudgment. It is even more important to maintain a trilateral balance in Taiwan-US-China relations. The "leaning to one side" policy should not be adopted to restrict the strategic maneuvering room of Taiwan and even its international allies and partners.
The Cultural and Communications Committee further indicated that Taiwan should be a promoter of peace rather than a troublemaker. Now the island has become "the most dangerous place in the world" and "a geostrategic powder keg." Is it safer for the people of Taiwan? President Tsai should seriously think about it.