İrem UZUN -TDO- In speech marking Taiwan’s National Day, president Tsai Ing-wen says she has hopes for less tensions with China and in the region if Beijing will listen to Taipei’s concerns, alter its approach and restart dialogue with the self-ruled island democracy. 

Tsai said the government would continue to modernize the island’s defense capabilities and enhance its capacity for asymmetric warfare to “deal with military expansion and provocation from the other side of the Taiwan Strait”. Asymmetric warfare is designed to make any Chinese attack difficult and costly, for example with smart mines and portable missiles.

She also stressed the need for dialogue across the strait to reduce tension.  “As long as the Beijing authorities are willing to resolve antagonisms and improve cross-strait relations, while parity and dignity are maintained, we are willing to work together to facilitate meaningful dialogue,” she said.  “Maintaining stability in cross-strait relations is in the best interests of both sides. We are committed to upholding cross-strait stability, but this is not something Taiwan can shoulder alone; it is the joint responsibility of both sides.”

In Beijing, a spokesperson for the Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office responded to Tsai’s address by renewing China’s demand for concessions and accusing her of “disrupting the exchanges and co-operation” between the sides, according to state broadcaster CCTV.  Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, accused Tsai of “deliberately misleading the people of Taiwan” and “warning the Taiwan authorities to adhere to the 1992 Consensus.”

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