Taipei [Taiwan] : Amid the rising tensions between the United States and China, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday (local time) said that the threat from Beijing is growing “every day,” and confirmed the presence of American troops on Taiwanese soil for training purposes.
In an interview with CNN, Tsai said Taiwan, which is located fewer than 200 kilometers (124 miles) away from China’s southeastern coast, was a “beacon” of democracy that needed to be defended to uphold faith worldwide in democratic values.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan despite the island’s self-governance for over seven decades. Meanwhile, Taipei continues to counter the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US.
“Here is this island of 23 million people trying hard every day to protect ourselves and protect our democracy and making sure that our people have the kind of freedom they deserve,” she said.
“If we fail, then that means people that believe in these values would doubt whether these are values that they (should) be fighting for.”
Taiwan and mainland China have been separately governed since the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese civil war more than 70 years ago. Taiwan is now a flourishing democracy but the mainland’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to view the island as an inseparable part of its territory — despite having never controlled it, CNN reported.