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Taiwan’s president opens to collaboration with China on ‘Peace’

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Taiwan's president opens to collaboration with China on 'Peace'

Taiwan’s president opens to collaboration with China on ‘Peace’

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  • He called on China to jointly shoulder the responsibility of regional stability with Taiwan.
  • Lai extended overtures to Beijing to resume communications, which Beijing had severed since 2016.
  • Beijing has increased military and political pressures on Taiwan.
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On Sunday, Taiwan’s president reiterated his openness to collaborating with China on building “mutual understanding and reconciliation,” despite Beijing launching military drills around the self-ruled island in response to his inauguration speech. Three days after President Lai Ching-te’s inauguration on Monday, China, which claims democratic Taiwan as part of its territory and regards Lai as a “dangerous separatist,” initiated military exercises around the island.

Fighter jets, naval vessels, and coast guard ships encircled Taiwan until Friday night, which Chinese military analysts said was to practice seizing it. On Sunday, Lai stated that his May 20 inaugural speech emphasized that “peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are necessary elements for global security and prosperity.”

“I also called on China to jointly shoulder the important responsibility of regional stability with Taiwan,” he said during an event with his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in southern Tainan.

“I also look forward to enhancing mutual understanding and reconciliation through exchanges and cooperation with China… and moving toward a position of peace and common prosperity.”

He added that the international community would not accept any country making waves in the Taiwan Strait and affecting regional stability.

Before his inauguration, Lai extended overtures to Beijing to resume communications, which Beijing had severed since 2016 when former president Tsai Ing-wen took office. Similar to Lai, Tsai is also affiliated with the DPP, which maintains a stance of defending Taiwan’s sovereignty.

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In response, Beijing has increased military and political pressures on Taiwan, and its naval vessels, drones, and warplanes maintain a near-daily presence around the island. On Sunday, two days after the drills ended, Taiwan’s defense ministry reported that seven Chinese aircraft, 14 naval vessels, and four coast guard ships were “operating around” the island in 24 hours ending at 06:00 a.m. (2200 GMT Saturday).

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China conducts military drills around Taiwan as ‘Strong Punishment’

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