President Tsai Ing-wen gave a major statement on the termination of diplomatic relations between the Republic of China and the Republic of Kiribati on the afternoon of September 20.
A translation of the president's remarks follows:
In regard to the termination of diplomatic relations between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Kiribati, our government was fully aware of the situation and our diplomatic personnel did everything they could. We truly regret the Kiribati government's decision.
The Kiribati government's choice to leave the true friend they had in Taiwan to act as China's pawn is a major mistake. China has chosen this time to strike a series of blows against Taiwan because only slightly more than 100 days remain until our presidential election.
I must tell everyone that according to our current intelligence, China will continue to seek to suppress and coerce Taiwan in the months before the election. Their actions will only intensify. China has only one objective: to alter the outcome of Taiwan's presidential election.
They are attempting to use these acts of suppression to tell the people of Taiwan that we cannot buy fighter jets or support Hong Kong, and that we can only choose a president who will bow to China. On behalf of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I want to firmly tell China that we have only three words to say in response to "one country, two systems”: not a chance.
The Taiwanese people will not abandon their determination in the face of China's thuggish oppression. I also want to tell all of my fellow citizens that if we give up now, Taiwan's future generations will lose their sovereignty, their freedom, and their democracy; we will lose everything.