Taiwan News: Tsai Says China a 'Source of Conflict' in National Day Speech

Taiwan News: Tsai Says China a 'Source of Conflict' in National Day Speech
Credit: Reuters / TPG
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In a nationally broadcast address, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said on Wednesday her administration will continue to seek to maintain stability in the Taiwan Strait and urged China to be a responsible stakeholder that plays a positive role in the world rather than a trigger for conflict.

In the Double Ten Day speech titled "Democratic Taiwan Lights Up the World," Tsai lauded the island's democracy, saying that its democratic transition remains a "beacon in the night for those who long for democracy."

Tsai also reiterated her administration's determination to protect Taiwan's free and democratic way of life, to defend sustainable development, and to maintain cross-strait peace and regional stability.

According to Tsai, China's unilateral diplomatic offensive and military coercion have harmed cross-strait relations and seriously challenged the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.

Tsai said that although some have urged her to adopt a more confrontational stance towards China and others want her to make compromises, she believes Taiwan has to remain composed to reduce pressure, and calmly find its survival niche.

Read More: Taiwan Gathers to Repel China's 'Hard Power in Soft Power Glove'

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Former Kuomintang (KMT) chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) said her party's ultimate goal remains "unification" and called on voters to support the KMT's policy during next month's local elections.

Speaking at a separate KMT National Day event at the National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei, Hung said she was marking the day "with a heavy heart" as she believes Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government is tearing the country apart.

KMT Chairman Wu Duen-yih (吳敦義) also attended the event, and he told supporters that they must continue to oppose those who support Taiwanese independence and vote against such a move on Nov. 24.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) told supporters in Taipei that the DPP government's economic policies are failing Taiwan potential growth.

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Read More: CARTOON: Happy National Day, Taiwan, ROC, Whatever!

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Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said Wednesday's "festive and colorful" National Day celebrations were aimed at allowing the world to see the peace and respect that exists in Taiwan.

According to Su, Taiwan's warm and friendly people are proud of the democracy and freedom that exists in their country and this event showcased the island's four qualities of progress, equality, peace and respect.

Su said these four qualities combine to act as one that "Taiwan values and pursues."

The celebrations on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office were held under the theme of "Taiwan, Together" and included performances by military marching bands and Air Force jets conducting flyovers in formation.

There was also a parade of 24 floats carrying members of Taiwan's Asian Games team.

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Credit: Reuters / TPG
Participants take part in the National Day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan on Oct. 10, 2018.

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President Tsai Ing-wen has held talks with former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk to discuss issues related to delivering transitional justice and strengthening democracy.

De Klerk was the last president of apartheid-era South Africa. He worked with Nelson Mandela to end the country's system of racial segregation and to usher in multiracial democracy, for which they were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

According to Tsai, de Klerk showed moral courage in the face of adversaries who were opposed to his defiance against apartheid, and she is seeking his advice on the subject.

De Klerk is on his ninth visit to Taiwan at the invitation of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy to speak at a seminar on the consolidation of democracy.

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A senior foreign ministry official has regained consciousness after having a heart attack at the Presidential Office.

Tang Chi-jen (湯繼仁), Taiwan's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, fainted before the National Day celebrations officially began. He had been at the Presidential Office to receiving foreign dignitaries at National Day celebrations.

Tang was rushed to the nearby Heping branch of Taipei City Hospital to receive emergency treatment. He regained consciousness, but remains hospitalized.

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said he has visited Tang at the National Taiwan University Hospital and conveyed his best wishes to him and his family.

Tang served as the ambassador to the Dominican Republic from October 2015 to May 2018 before the Caribbean country switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

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Taiwan has the 29th strongest passport in the world, having moved up two notches from last year in the 2018 Henley Passport Index, according to a report by CNN.

Taiwan passport holders have visa-free access to 148 countries and territories, according to the report, which cited the index compiled by the global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & PartnersCitizens.

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Credit: Tzuhsun Hsu / Flickr CC-BY-SA 2.0
Taiwan's passport is now the world's 29th strongest.

The report says Japan now has the most powerful passport in the world, which gives its holders visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations.

Singapore, which was overtaken by Japan this year, ranks second, with 189 destinations.

South Korea, Germany and France are tied at third place, providing free access for their passport holders to 188 destinations.

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The Centers for Disease Control says two Taiwanese women have been confirmed to have malaria after they returned from a trip to Uganda last month.

The two university students traveled to Uganda along with 10 other schoolmates and teachers to provide social services there from September 10 through 23.

Health officials say they began to show symptom of the disease after they returned to Taiwan and immediately sought medical treatment.

There have been five confirmed malaria cases in Taiwan this year, all of them imported, with two of them coming from Uganda, and one each from India, Kenya and the Solomon Islands.

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Renowned philanthropic vendor Chen Shu-chu (陳樹菊) has donated two insurance policies worth a total of NT$16 million (US$514,085) to local hospitals to help promote rural healthcare services.

Chen has designated the Taitung MacKay Memorial Hospital and Taitung Christian Hospital as the beneficiaries of the policies.

The donations were made during a flag raising ceremony held by Taitung County government to celebrate Double Ten National Day.

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Credit: David Shankbone / Flickr CC-BY-3.0
Taiwanese philanthropist Chen Shu-chu was honored as one of TIME Magazine's 'TIME 100' in 2010.

The hospitals will receive the donations, which Chen has stipulated should be mainly used to treat cancer patients and provide the poor with proper medical care, after she passes away.

Chen sold vegetables in Taitung for more than half a century before retiring earlier this year.

She was honored as one of the 100 most influential figures by Time Magazine in 2010 for contributing over NT$10 million (US$321,303) to different charitable causes.

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The Heping Fu-You branch of Taipei City Hospital says that a baby girl, born one minute after midnight, was "very likely" the first National Day baby of this year.

The baby girl was her parent's first child.

The Cathay General Hospital said 10 babies were born at its Taipei, Xizhi and Hsinchu branches Wednesday, and said more newborns were delivered on National Day this year than last year.

The Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital welcomed six National Day babies and the Cheng Hsin General Hospital had four newborns on National Day.

Despite the increase in National Day births this year, Taiwan's fertility dropped to 1.13 children per woman of child-bearing age in 2017, the third-lowest rate in the world.

Read Next: OPINION: Cross-Strait Stalemate: Could a New Paradigm Get the Ball Rolling Again?

This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.

Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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