Former Catalan leader voices support for Taiwanese independence

Carles Puigdemont was removed from office for pressing ahead with a unilateral declaration of independence in Catalonia

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Tweet by Carles Puigdemont to back Taiwan

Tweet by Carles Puigdemont to back Taiwan

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Carles Puigdemont, former president of the Government of Catalonia, expressed his gratitude in a Jan. 5 tweet to Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen for using the Catalan language in a message rejecting “one country, two systems," while also voicing his support for Taiwanese independence.

Following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech on Jan. 3 threatening to "reclaim" Taiwan by any means necessary, Tsai responded defiantly in a Facebook post the same day, reiterating that Taiwan has never and will never accept the “1992 Consensus,” nor the “one country, two systems” arrangement proposed by Beijing.

The post, written in Chinese and English, has been translated by supporters into numerous languages and shared widely across social media platforms, including in Catalan, an official language of the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia.

Puigdemont thanked Tsai for making a Catalan version of the statement and responded by remarking that “We stand by #Taiwan in your struggle for freedom & #selfdetermination” in both English and Traditional Chinese.

The politician also retweeted Tsai’s post, which states that “Taiwan operates exactly like all other democracies around the world,” and that, as an elected president, she has the responsibility to “defend the values and way of life” for the country.