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In his New Year’s speech, the Taiwanese president warned China against a “military adventure.”

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen speaks at the Rank Awards Ceremony for Army, Navy and Air Force Officers on December 28, 2021 at the Ministry of Defense in Taipei, Taiwan. REUTERS / Annabelle Chih

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Taipei, Jan 1 (Reuters) – Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Saturday sent a New Year’s message to China: Beijing has strongly warned that military conflicts are not the solution, but that it could lead if Taiwan crosses any red line. Deep disaster “.

China claims the right to rule Taiwan democratically and has increased military and diplomatic pressure over the past two years to assert its sovereignty.

“We must remind the Beijing authorities not to misjudge the situation and to prevent an internal expansion of the ‘military adventure’,” Chai said in his New Year’s speech on Saturday, which was broadcast live on Facebook.

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It states that Taiwan is an independent country and has repeatedly pledged to protect its independence and democracy.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Said In his New Year’s speech on Friday, the unification of the “motherland” was an aspiration shared by people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

On Saturday, after Tsai’s speech, Xu Fenglian, a spokesman for the Taiwan affairs office in Beijing, said: “We are ready to work for the possibility of a peaceful reunion.”

“But if the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces continue to provoke and coerce or cross any red line, we must take decisive action.”

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The quest for independence will push Taiwan into a “deep abyss” and bring “deep catastrophe”, Xu added.

In recent months, Beijing has sent back and forth flights over the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan has said it will not succumb to the threats.

“The military is certainly not an option for resolving cross-embarrassing differences. Military conflicts can affect economic stability,” Chai said.

He said both Taipei and Beijing should “work hard to take care of people’s livelihoods and calm people’s hearts” to defuse tensions in the region.

Taiwan will continue to monitor the situation in Hong Kong, Tsai said, adding that he would intervene in the recent assembly. Election And this Arrests This week the senior staff of the pro-democracy media, the Stand News, “made people more concerned about human rights and freedom of speech in Hong Kong.”

“We will uphold our sovereignty, uphold the values ​​of freedom and democracy, safeguard regional sovereignty and national security, and maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” Chai said.

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Report by Sarah Woo; Additional Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Ryan Woo in Beijing Editing by Kim Gokil and Frances Kerry

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.