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01.01.2021 China

Taiwan President willing to have respectful dialogue with China

Taiwan President willing to have respectful dialogue with China
LISTEN JAN 1, 2021

Taipei, Jan. 1, (dpa/GNA) – Taiwan is willing to dialogue with China as long as Beijing is determined to resolve confrontation and improve relations, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Friday.

"With parity and respect, we would like to jointly facilitate meaningful dialogue," Tsai said in her New Year speech.

China cut off all official communication with Taiwan in June 2016, one month after Tsai of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party took office.

Tsai said that, in 2020, Chinese military jets and ships more frequently approached Taiwanese areas than before and such movements "not only affect the relation across the Taiwan Strait but also pose threats to the Indo-Pacific region's current peace and stability."

Tsai said that, if the Covid-19 pandemic becomes controllable, she looks forward to normal in-person exchanges, which help improve understandings.

In Taiwan, Tsai said, the most important job in 2021 is to ensure people continue to "live a normal daily life" amid global economic recovery.

Taiwan, an island with a population of 23.5 million, has reported around 800 Covid-19 cases, with only seven virus-related deaths. No lockdown has ever been imposed.

"Taiwan has been proud to have worked alongside the international community to confront the challenges posed by Covid-19. We have shown again and again that 'Taiwan can help.'" Tsai said.

"As a force for good in the world, we will continue to be an indispensable member of the international community," Tsai said.

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the democratic island part of its territory.

GNA

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