after the inauguration of the new president, China intensifies the pressure

after the inauguration of the new president, China intensifies the pressure
after the inauguration of the new president, China intensifies the pressure

As pressure mounts around Taiwan, the island’s new president Lai Ching-te has vowed to defend democracy in the face of Chinese threats and called on China to “stop its political and military intimidation », after taking the oath this Monday.

In his inauguration speech at the presidential palace in Taipei, Lai spoke directly about the threat of war after years of pressure from China to bring Taiwan under its control. The new president thanked the Taiwanese for resisting influence ” external forces and for having resolutely defended democracy ”, affirming that “ the glorious era of Taiwanese democracy has arrived “.

Faced with numerous threats and infiltration attempts, we must show our determination to defend our nation, we must also increase our defense preparedness and strengthen our legal framework for national security “, noted Lai after taking office.

The ceremony, during which the new vice-president, Hsiao Bi-khim, was also inaugurated, was held at the presidential palace in Taipei, the capital. As a mark of support, eight heads of state, from the rare countries that recognize Taiwan, participated as well as several dozen delegations.

Coming from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the same movement as his predecessor Tsai Ing-wen, Lai has been described by Beijing as a “ dangerous separatist » for his past statements in favor of Taiwan’s independence. He has since softened his speech, and promised Monday that his government “will not give in, will not provoke and will maintain the status quo “, that is to say a balance which preserves the sovereignty of Taiwan without declaring formal independence.

A record of Chinese military planes detected around the island of Taiwan

“One and the same China”

The new president therefore called on China to “ stop its political and military intimidation against Taiwan “. Beijing must “pshare with Taiwan the responsibility towards the world for maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait “, he pleaded. As a reminder, the island of 23 million inhabitants has been governed autonomously since 1949, but China considers it part of its territory and has said it wants to bring it back under its control, by force if necessary.

In this context, Chinese warplanes and ships maintain an almost daily presence around the island, although in the days preceding the inauguration there was no significant increase in the number of aircraft and ships.

Whatever the evolution of the internal political situation in Taiwan, it will not change the historical and legal fact that the two sides of the strait belong to one and the same China. said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin after the new president’s inauguration. Beijing also warned on Monday that efforts aimed at Taiwan’s independence would result in a ” dead end “.

No matter in what form or under what banner, Taiwan’s pursuit of independence and secession is doomed to failure,” added the spokesperson.

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Sanctions against American companies

The situation is also tense with the United States. Indeed, although Washington abandoned diplomatic recognition of Taipei in favor of Beijing in 1979, it remained Taiwan’s most important partner and its main arms supplier. Lai Ching-te should continue during his mandate to increase the island’s military spending and strengthen its alliances, particularly with the United States while Taiwan suffers from a lack of diplomatic recognition, having only 12 allies on the international scene.

American Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Lai, whose inauguration is, according to him, the sign of a “ resilient democratic system “. He said he hoped that Washington and Taipei could strengthen their relations and maintain the “ peace and stability » in the Taiwan Strait region.

Concurrently with the inauguration, China unveiled new sanctions on Monday against three American companies selling weapons to Taiwan. The companies General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security will be placed on the list of “ untrusted entities » from the Chinese government, the state media said, citing the Ministry of Commerce. “ They will be banned from any import-export activity linked to China and banned from any new investment in China. », According to the media. “ Senior executives of these companies are banned from entering China, and their work permits will be revoked “, he added.

Furthermore, last month, the United States approved several billion dollars in military aid to Taiwan. This aid is part of a vast $8 billion program to stand up to China militarily by investing in submarines, and economically by competing with major Chinese projects in developing countries.

Military support that increases “ the risk of conflict “, Beijing immediately reacted. “ The United States must (…) stop arming Taiwan, stop creating new tensions in the Taiwan Strait and stop compromising peace and stability on both sides of the strait.said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin.

(With AFP)

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