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Tsai tells Taiwanese voters to think about Hong Kong's fate

'Installing locks on doors is not to provoke neighbors, but for greater security': Tsai

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Tsai delivers speech at Air Force Academy in Kaohsiung City's Gangshan District on Dec. 1. 

Tsai delivers speech at Air Force Academy in Kaohsiung City's Gangshan District on Dec. 1.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday (Dec. 3) told voters to think about the fate of Hong Kong and choose "dignified peace," while emphasizing that bolstering the country's defenses is meant for deterrence, not provocation.

During a campaign rally for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ticket of Lai Ching-te (賴清德) and Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) at the party's national campaign headquarters in Taipei, Tsai said that the DPP wants to win, not for the sake of party interests, but for the sake of Taiwan's democracy and freedom, regional peace and stability, the country's sustainable development, reported Liberty Times. She stressed that voters must choose the right people to take the right path.

Tsai pointed out that last week, the Taiwan stock market surpassed Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index for the first time in three decades. The president said that over her seven-year tenure, the Taiwan stock market has doubled from 8,131 points on her inauguration day in 2016 to exceeding 17,000 points on Tuesday (Nov. 29). "This represents the hard work of the Taiwanese and the world's confidence in Taiwan," said Tsai.

Tsai said that opposition party candidates are painting the election as a "choice between war and peace." She countered their claims by saying, "Does anyone want war? No one wants war. Do we want peace? Everyone wants peace."

Tsai called on voters to, "Look at Hong Kong and think about Taiwan." She then declared, "We don't want Hong Kong-style peace. We want dignified peace."

She added "Only with dignity and autonomy can there be a lasting peace. Only with lasting peace can the economy achieve long-term and steady development."

The president said that to ensure peace, the country needs to strengthen its self-defense capabilities. "We don't install locks on our doors to provoke our neighbors, we install them to make them safer," said Tsai.

She said what is true for the home is true for Taiwan. She argued that the more secure Taiwan is, the less there will be a sense of crisis, while "being undefended is the most dangerous situation."

Tsai said, "Dignified peace is peace achieved through the support of democratic partners aligning with universal values worldwide and walking side by side with Taiwan." She added, "Peace with democratic values, global support, and self-defense capabilities is dignified peace."

Tsai reiterated that war is not an option and said that the 2024 general election is not a choice between war and peace. She said that the Taiwanese must choose a dignified peace and "loudly proclaim to the world that it is the choice of the Taiwanese people."

She emphasized that "we will not doubt our friends who support Taiwan and will continue to earn the trust of the world." Tsai said the Taiwanese would "continue to choose the right people and follow the right path to enable Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim to safeguard Taiwan's dignified peace."