TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's envoy to the U.S. on Tuesday (Feb. 9) echoed President Taiwan Ing-wen's (蔡英文) Lunar New Year greetings to China while also calling on the country to end its threats.
During a high-level national security meeting on Tuesday (Feb. 9), Tsai pointed out that over the past year, military aircraft and warships from China have frequently engaged in maneuvers in the sea and airspace around Taiwan, including multiple incursions into the country's air defense identification zone (ADIZ). Tsai warned that these actions are "not conducive to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region," reported CNA.
She said that in response, Taiwan will continue to improve its defensive capabilities while seeking to maintain the status quo of peace and prosperity through exchanges and cooperation with other countries. The president stated: "I would like to reiterate that Taiwan's consistent position in the face of cross-strait relations is to neither succumb to pressure nor to advance rashly when supported."
Tsai emphasized that as long as Beijing demonstrates an intention to diffuse the confrontation, Taiwan is willing to engage in "meaningful dialogue" under the principle of equality and mutual respect. She then reminded the Chinese government that "Cross-strait peace is not a unilateral issue for Taiwan."
She cautioned that "Historical experience has proven that verbal assaults and military threats against Taiwan will not help cross-strait relations." Tsai then wished the people of China a happy Lunar New Year and expressed her hope that the two countries can work together to promote peace and stability.
That same day, Taiwan's representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim (小美琴), who has described herself as a "cat warrior" (戰貓) to counter China's "wolf warrior diplomats," retweeted Tsai's remarks and wrote "Happy lunar new year, and stop threatening us." The tweet soon gained over 1,700 likes and 302 comments.
Happy lunar new year, and stop threatening us. https://t.co/RTzXU890n6— Bi-khim Hsiao 萧美琴 (@bikhim) February 9, 2021
In a sign of the Biden administration's support for Taiwan, Hsiao met with Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP), Sung Kim, on Wednesday (Feb. 10). The meeting was significant because it marked the first time since Biden took office that a Taiwanese government official has entered the U.S. State Department.
The EAP posted a tweet that day showing Hsiao and Kim standing together and wrote the U.S. is "deepening" its relations with the country, describing Taiwan as "a leading democracy and important economic and security partner." Hsiao retweeted the post and wrote that the meeting had covered a number of topics of "mutual interest" that reflect "our strong and broad partnership."
I had a good meeting with @USAsiaPacific Acting Assistant Secretary Kim and his able team today, where we covered many issues of mutual interest, reflecting our strong and broad partnership. I also wished the team a happy lunar new year! https://t .co/ibSPhg9SQa— Bi-khim Hsiao 萧美琴 (@bikhim) February 10, 2021