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Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wenShutterstock

(LifeSiteNews) — In a letter to Pope Francis, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen insisted that peaceful relations between Taiwan and China are only possible if Beijing acknowledges the island’s independence.

“Only by respecting the commitment of the Taiwanese people to our sovereignty, democracy, and freedom can there be a foundation for resuming constructive interaction across the Taiwan Strait,” Tsai declared in the letter.

Referring to her national address in October, she stated that armed conflict with mainland China was not an option, insisting that peaceful relations regarding the Taiwan Strait were foundational to any path forward between the mainland and Taiwan. “In my National Day speech last year, I reiterated that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are the foundation for the development of cross-Strait relations and armed confrontation is absolutely not an option,” Tsai said.

Addressing Taiwan’s armed forces on Friday, January 20, in a Lunar New Year message, the president thanked them for safeguarding the island’s peace.

“In the face of the Chinese Communists’ military ships and aircraft frequently harassing Taiwan, or even carrying out exercises around the Taiwan Strait, the government firmly safeguards peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and region,” Tsai declared. “The military holds fast to their posts, fully protecting national security, defending our common homeland. I want to thank the labors of our brothers and sisters in the military. In the new year, the government will continue to go all out for the economy and recovery, protect sovereignty and safeguard peace.”

In October, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning insisted on China’s long-held position that Taiwan is part of the mainland’s communist regime, which violently took power in the mid-20th century in a Marxist revolution. At the time, the legitimate Chinese government took refuge on the island of Taiwan, where it has continued to function to the present day, refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the communist-run government in Beijing. The two governments refuse to maintain diplomatic relations. The Vatican has official diplomatic relations with Taiwan but not with Beijing, even though the Holy See allows the CCP to have a say in the choice of Catholic bishops.

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On October 10, 2022, Mao Ning claimed that Taiwan “has no president and is not an independent country.” She argued that “the root cause of the current tensions in the Taiwan Strait lies in the Democratic Progressive Party authorities’ stubborn insistence on Taiwan independence and secession.”

Doubling down on the communist party line that Taiwan must give up its independence for there to be peace, Ning said of Beijing, “We are willing to create a broad space for peaceful reunification, but we will never leave any space for Taiwan independence and secession activities.”

However, Taiwan seems far from capitulation to communist-run Beijing, with its president and people firmly rejecting any compromise of the island’s sovereignty, freedom, and democratic way of life. “On this point, we have no room for compromise,” President Tsai has declared.


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