TAIPEI: Taiwan saw off China’s military six decades ago when its forces bombarded offshore Taiwanese islands and that resolve to defend the homeland continues to this day, President Tsai Ing-wen told a visiting group of US academics on Tuesday (Aug 23).
Tensions between Taiwan and China have spiked over the past month following the visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. China staged war games near Taiwan to express its anger at what it saw as stepped up US support for the island Beijing views as sovereign Chinese territory.
Meeting the delegation from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution at her office, Tsai referenced China’s month of attacks on the Taiwan-controlled islands of Kinmen and Matsu that sit off just off the Chinese coast which started in August 1958.
“Sixty-four years ago during the Aug 23 battle, our soldiers and civilians operated in solidarity and safeguarded Taiwan, so that we have the democratic Taiwan today,” she said, using the common Taiwanese term for that campaign, which ended in stalemate with China failing to take the islands.
“That battle to protect our homeland showed the world that no threat of any kind could shake the Taiwanese people’s resolve to defend their nation, not in the past, not now, and not in the future,” Tsai added.
“We too will show the world that the people of Taiwan have both the resolve and confidence to safeguard peace, security, freedom and prosperity for ourselves.”