President Tsai Ing-wen warned her counterparts in China that the country had the “capacity, determination, and commitment to defend” itself amid growing tensions between the nations. Her comments came after Beijing decided to fly military aircraft close to the Asian country this week. She made the remarks at the 2019 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue conference in Taipei.
Ms Ing-wen was delivering a speech focused on the strength between Taiwan and the US.
She told the audience: “As you may be aware, Chinese forces yesterday sent a large number of their military aircraft and vessels into our vicinity. Their actions threaten Taiwan and other like-minded countries in the region.
“I want to tell you that Taiwan is not intimidated.
“These actions only serve to strengthen our resolve.
“Our military forces have the capacity, determination, and commitment to defend Taiwan and not allow coercion to dictate our future.”
Relations between China and Taiwan have been frosty for the past year.
Xi Jinping branded Taiwan’s sovereignty a “dead end”.
He added: “We make no promise to abandon the use of force, and retain the option of taking all necessary measures.”
Reports suggest that since US President Donald Trump has become leader Taiwan and the US have become firmer allies.
Ms Ing-wen said after the US completed an arms deal with her nation: “This arms sale is on the training of our Air Force pilots and air space. It trains our pilots to be the same calibre of their American colleagues.
“It enhances their ability to defend our air space. I want to express my appreciation to the U.S. government for their announcement.
“I look forward to our best and brightest receiving the very best training in the world.”