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Beijing Seethes as Taiwan Inaugurates President William Lai Ching-te

Taiwan’s President Lai Ching-de, better known by his Western name William Lai, gave his inaugural address on Monday morning.

Lai called on the People’s Republic of China to end “political and military threats against Taiwan” and “free the world from the fear of war.”

Lai won. sure victory Although he won elections in January against two left-wing rivals, his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) did not perform as well in parliamentary elections. Lai succeeded outgoing Democratic Progressive Party President Tsai Ing-wen and, as he said in his inaugural speech, was able to “break an eight-year curse.” No other political party in Taiwan’s democratic history has been able to hold the presidency for more than eight years.

“The reality is that in a democracy, the people have the final say,” Lai said. Said on monday. “There is no such thing as a ‘curse’ in any election. It’s just that the people put the ruling party to the toughest test and chose the future of the country in the most honest way.”

Mr. Lai also reminds young people that Taiwan’s history as a vibrant multiparty democracy that has thrived in the long, cruel shadow of the authoritarian People’s Republic of China is shorter than many young people realize. Admitted. He pointed out that Taiwan’s first democratically elected president took office in 1996, and since then there have been only three changes in power between political parties.

“Each day of my term, I will strive to prove that I am someone you can trust and depend on by acting fairly, showing compassion, being humble, and treating our people like family.” .

“In February this year, the new Legislative Yuan was sworn into office, marking the first time in 16 years that no political party had an absolute majority. Faced with this new political climate, some are hopeful. “There are some people who are feeling anxious,” he admitted.

“What I want to say to everyone is that this new structure is the result of people’s choices. From another perspective, the fact that there is no absolute majority means that the ruling and opposition parties share the same thoughts and work together to address national issues. It means working on it,” he said.

Mr. Lai expressed his intention to urge the legislature to “adhere to procedural justice” and to ensure that political majorities and minorities respect each other in order to “maintain a stable and harmonious society.” I asked for it.

this is, brawl The row erupted in the Legislative Yuan on Friday over a proposal to give parliament more oversight powers, a proposal derided by opposition leaders as an attempt to sabotage Lai’s administration before he takes office.

Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DP) Rep. Cheng Chia-bin (Blue Republican Party) seizes Mr. Chen Ching-hui of the main opposition Kuomintang Party (KMT) during a vote on parliamentary reform while National Assembly Speaker Han Yu (electing leftist) looks on2024 The bill will be submitted to the National Assembly in Taipei on May 17, 2020. (SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)

In his inaugural address, Mr. Lai emphasized the importance of Taiwan as a force for democracy, peace, and human rights, especially in a world rocked by conflicts such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Israel’s self-defense operation in Gaza, and a world in which communists are at odds. Emphasized gender. China has taken an increasingly belligerent attitude toward Taiwan.

Lai thanked the United States for supporting Taiwan and maintaining freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region, and pledged to do its part by avoiding provocation. This is a key passage from his speech, described in Chinese as a savage-eyed “separatist.” Advertisement.

The aircraft carrier Chung Hung observed Chinese naval vessels conducting what it called a “dangerous” Chinese exercise in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, June 3, 2023. In the midst of this, a Chinese naval vessel suddenly crossed the path of the American destroyer, forcing the destroyer to attack. US warship slows down to avoid collision. The incident occurred while the American destroyer and Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal were transiting the strait between Taiwan and mainland China on a so-called “freedom of navigation” basis. (Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Andre T. Richard/U.S. Navy, Associated Press)

In return, Taiwan’s new president called on China to end its “gray zone” intimidation campaign and join the Taiwanese government in shouldering its global responsibility to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Prime Minister Lai asked the public to be realistic about the possibility of China agreeing to the peace plea.

Taiwanese people are peace-loving and kind people, and I have always believed that when a country’s leader places the welfare of its people above all else, peace, mutual benefit, and coexistence and mutual prosperity across the Taiwan Strait can be our common goal.

Therefore, I hope that China will face up to the reality of the existence of the Republic of China, respect the choices of the Taiwanese people, and in good faith choose dialogue over confrontation and exchange over containment, based on the principles of equality and dignity. I would like to hold dialogue with Taiwan. In cooperation with the rule of law government elected by the Taiwanese people. This could start by resuming mutual tourism and enrolling degree-seeking students in Taiwanese educational institutions. Let’s pursue peace and mutual prosperity together.

Fellow citizens, when pursuing the ideal of peace, we must not entertain any illusions. As long as China refuses to renounce the use of force against Taiwan, even if we fully accept China’s position and renounce its sovereignty, we all in Taiwan must understand that China’s ambition to annex Taiwan will not simply disappear. You should understand.

Much of Lai’s inaugural address was a promise to continue his predecessor’s policies, from strengthening national defense to maintaining leadership positions in high-tech industries, including artificial intelligence (AI) research.

Lai envisions Taiwan evolving from a “silicon island,” where the world’s essential computer chips are manufactured, to an “AI island,” developing new ways to harness the power of AI, “to make our nation, military, workforce and economy stronger.”

“Taiwan has an impact not only on the world’s economic development but also on human well-being and prosperity,” he said.

In the closing section of his speech, Lai maintained a firm stance on the issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty, calling on all Taiwanese to “oppose annexation” and refrain from “giving up national sovereignty in exchange for political power” – friendly rivals to China in an otherwise conciliatory speech.

“As more countries around the world publicly express support for Taiwan’s meaningful international participation, there is growing evidence that Taiwan is the Taiwan of the world. Taiwan is a valuable and reliable force for global peace and prosperity. ” and asked the audience to applaud all of Taiwan’s foreign friends.

Mr. Lai’s inauguration ceremony was attended The conference will include representatives from the United States, Britain, Japan, Germany, Canada and 12 other countries that maintain formal relations with Taiwan after an eight-year harrowing campaign by China to cut off Taiwan’s allies. attended.

China responded to Lai’s inaugural speech as follows: sneer “Taiwan independence will lead nowhere.”

“No matter what banners or pretexts the separatists use, ‘Taiwan independence’ is doomed to failure,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin (Liu Zheng/AP)

“Taiwan is not a country. Taiwan has been an inalienable part of China’s territory since ancient times,” Wang said, launching into a lengthy rebuke of U.S. efforts to help Taiwan maintain its autonomy.

“China will and must achieve unification. No one or force can stop it. Our message to some in the United States: Global trends are moving forward rapidly. “Those who follow the trends will succeed. Those who go against them will perish.”

At a subsequent press conference, Wang again became furious, calling on all countries seeking good relations with Beijing’s Communist regime to embrace the “one China principle” (falsely claiming that Taiong is a province of China). It called for a reaffirmation of commitment and a rejection of “the outside.” This is interference in Taiwan issues. ”

“Political manipulation and selfish acts by certain politicians from a few countries on the Taiwan issue seriously interfere in China’s internal affairs and violate the one-China principle. China strongly condemns this, We will take all necessary measures to firmly uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wang said.