Military strength 'keeps peace' with China: Taiwan leader

STORY: :: Taiwan's President Lai Ching-te says military strength 'keeps peace' with China

:: June 19, 2024

:: Taipei, Taiwan

:: Lai Ching-te, Taiwan's President

"Taiwan's people love peace and helping others. But peace must rely on strength, which is to say avoiding war by preparing for war to achieve peace. Empty promises are not true peace. Peace achieved through strength is guaranteed, and only that is true peace."

"Apart from using force, in recent years they (China) have even been using non-traditional coercive measures to force Taiwan to surrender, but Taiwan will not give in. Taiwan's people will certainly defend the country's sovereignty and maintain the democratic, free constitutional government way of life."

Speaking at a news conference marking one month since he assumed the presidency, Lai said that the Taiwanese people “love peace” but the island needs to “rely on strength” to ensure peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Lai's comments came just after the United States approved the possible sale of drones and missiles to Taiwan for an estimated $360 million, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.

The U.S. is bound by law to provide Chinese-claimed Taiwan with the means to defend itself despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties, to the constant anger of Beijing.

Lai has repeatedly offered talks with China but has been rebuffed.

China has been stepping up military pressure against Taiwan, including staging war games around the island last month after the inauguration of Lai Ching-te as president.