In a televised interview with a CNN reporter, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen issued a warning about the People’s Republic of China’s growing military power, and increasingly assertive foreign policy in the region. Tsai said the threat of military action against Taiwan increases by the day, and she may not be exaggerating. China has been running live fire exercises close to Taiwanese territory on a regular basis lately, and there have been incidents of PLAAF aircraft flying dangerously close to Taiwan.
Beijing has also placed heavy diplomatic pressure on Taiwan with a presidential election coming there next year. International support for Taiwan has declined over the past few years largely because of Chinese efforts to undermine and isolate Taiwan. In January, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke of working towards the peaceful reunification of China, and Taiwan. Xi warned that Taiwan independence was a “dead end” and made it a point to mention that China did not rule out the use of force to bring Taiwan, which it considers a renegade province, back into the fold.
The opposition Kuomintang party (KMT) said it might be inclined to sign a peace deal with China if it wins the presidential election in 2020. Beijing has already begun making overtures to the party and will continue to in the leadup to the election. The purpose of the overtures is obviously to isolate Tsai’s government and help sway the election results.
On Wednesday, Tsai told reporters Taiwan will not accept an agreement that encroaches on the nation’s sovereignty, or democracy. She has called on the nation’s allies, and the international community as a whole to stand with Taiwan in the face of China’s threats and actions.