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President Tsai announces military force realignment plan (excerpt: cross-strait relations)

  • Date:2022-12-27

As in Europe, China's expansion in Asia continues to challenge the international rules-based order, threatening regional peace and stability, and impacting cross-strait relations. China's attempts to coerce Taiwan have become clearer, particularly since its military exercises this past August.

To address the expansion of authoritarianism, key nations in the international and regional community, such as the United States, European Union member states, Japan, Australia, and the Philippines, have each adjusted their strategies, strengthened their defense capabilities, and upgraded their military power. 

No one wants war. The government and people of Taiwan do not want it. The international community does not want it.

However, my fellow citizens, peace cannot be taken for granted. As Winston Churchill once said, "You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour and you will have war."

Taiwan stands on the frontlines of authoritarian expansion, at the vanguard of the global defense of democracy. Only by preparing for war can we avoid it – only by being capable of fighting a war can we stop one.

Only by strengthening our self-defense capabilities can Taiwan more effectively protect our national security and interests while garnering further international support.

The better prepared we are, the smaller the chance of adventurism from across the strait. The more united we are, the stronger and safer Taiwan will be. 

This is what I want to emphasize – that peace depends on national defense, and national defense depends on the people of Taiwan.

As long as Taiwan is strong enough, it will continue to be a home of democracy and freedom in the world, and will not become a battlefield to which we will need to send our youth.

My fellow citizens, Taiwan must tell the world that, between democracy and autocracy, we believe firmly in democracy, and that, between war and peace, we are committed to peace. Let us show our courage and resolve to protect our homeland and defend democracy. I believe that doing so will herald victory for global democracy and freedom.