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President Tsai's remarks at reception for international media
President Tsai's remarks at reception for international media

On the morning of January 5, President Tsai Ing-wen attended a reception at the Presidential Office for the international press corps.

A transcript of the president's opening remarks follows:

As the democratically-elected president of this country, I have no more important duty than to defend our democracy, freedom, and way of life. Through democratic elections, the people of Taiwan have shown again and again that they deeply cherish these values, which form a fundamental part of our national identity.

In this context, it is impossible for me—or in my view any responsible politician in Taiwan—to accept President Xi Jinping's (習近平) recent remarks, without betraying the trust and will of the people of Taiwan.

In his statement, President Xi highlighted two fundamental dangers China poses to our freedom and democracy.

First, by emphasizing "one China" and "one country, two systems," particularly in the context of the so-called "1992 Consensus," China has made clear their political intentions towards Taiwan and their steps for unification. This is a major disregard of the fact that the ROC, Taiwan does exist, and is in full operation like all other democratic countries.

Second, China's plan to engage in political consultation with the political parties instead of the democratically-elected government of Taiwan, is a continuation of its deliberate campaign to undermine and subvert our democratic process and create division in our society. At a time when we are exhausting efforts to avoid provocation and miscommunication, China's actions are unhelpful and in contrary to democratic practices.

As we are a democracy, cross-strait interaction must follow rules and oversight of the people of Taiwan, and therefore any discussions must be between governments that are representative of the peoples of both sides.

So thank you for listening. I now look forward to any questions you may have.


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