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Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen calls for solidarity in final Lunar New Year address

Thanks friends around the world for their support ahead of stepping down as nation's leader

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President Tsai Ing-wen delivered the final Lunar New Year address of her presidency Thursday. (CNA, Presidential Office photo)

President Tsai Ing-wen delivered the final Lunar New Year address of her presidency Thursday. (CNA, Presidential Office photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In her final Lunar New Year address on Thursday (Feb. 8) as president, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) called on the people of Taiwan to stand together to protect the country.

She is scheduled to leave office on May 20 after completing the maximum two consecutive four-year terms allowed by the constitution. Her vice president, Lai Ching-te (賴清德), won the Jan. 13 election to succeed her.

She closed off her pre-recorded address in English, thanking the country’s friends around the world for continuing to support Taiwan. The nation will keep working with its democratic partners to maintain peace and stability, the president said.

“We will pursue cooperation and prosperity, and make Taiwan one with the world,” Tsai concluded.

Earlier, she thanked the people for helping to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges. If the people stood together, they would be able to protect the country, she said.

The successful conclusion of elections watched by the world proved that democracy and freedom were Taiwan’s basic values, while the country also promoted those values overseas, she said. The Year of the Dragon starting Saturday (Feb. 10) also signified a new beginning for the development of the nation.

Tsai also thanked the military, police, firefighters, Coast Guard, medical personnel, and staff at oil, water, and power companies for standing by during the Feb. 8-14 holiday period.