Home China China Views Taiwan’s ‘Elimination’ As Its Great National Cause, Says Taiwan’s President

China Views Taiwan’s ‘Elimination’ As Its Great National Cause, Says Taiwan’s President

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Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te visits Republic of China Military Academy, an officer training academy, for its 100th anniversary celebrations in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. REUTERS/Ann Wang

Taiwan’s President Lai Ching-te said China views the annexation and “elimination” of Taiwan as its great national cause. Lai made these remarks on Sunday. He told cadets at the military’s premier academy they must know their enemy and not give in to defeatism.

Lai has faced personal attacks from China, which views Taiwan as its own territory, since assuming office last month. Beijing called him a “separatist.” China even staged war games around Taiwan shortly after Lai’s inauguration.

Lai says only Taiwan’s people can decide their future. He has repeatedly offered talks with Beijing but been rebuffed.

Lai also said today’s cadets must recognise the challenges of the “new era.”

“The biggest challenge is to face the powerful rise of China, (which is) destroying the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and regards Taiwan’s annexation and the elimination of the Republic of China as the great rejuvenating cause of its people.”

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office did not comment about Lai’s remarks.

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The fourth-ranked leader in China’s ruling Communist Party Wang Huning told a forum in China on Saturday about relations with Taiwan. He said that “reunification is a historical necessity for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” He vowed to “smash any separatist plots.”

The event was attended by senior military officials and also the top U.S. diplomat in Kaohsiung, Neil Gibson. Lai said the cadets must defend Taiwan against being annexed by China.

“We really must be able to distinguish between ourselves and our enemies and between friend and foe, and absolutely cannot accept the defeatism of ‘the first battle is the last battle.”

With inputs from Reuters