China denounces Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's speech as inciting confrontation, distorting facts

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaking during the National Day celebration in Taipei on Oct 10, 2021. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - China's government on Sunday (Oct 10) denounced Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's National Day speech, saying it incited confrontation and distorted facts.

"This speech advocated Taiwan independence, incited confrontation, cut apart history and distorted facts," China's Taiwan Affairs Office said.

"The independence provocation by the Democratic Progressive Party authorities is the source of tension and turbulence in cross-strait relations and the greatest threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," it added, referring to Ms Tsai's ruling party.

Speaking earlier on Sunday, Ms Tsai said that Taiwan will keep bolstering its defences to ensure nobody can force them to accept the path China has laid down that offers neither freedom nor democracy.

China regards Taiwan as a renegade province, to be reunited by force, if necessary.

Taiwan says it will defend its freedoms and democracy, blaming China for the tensions.

Taiwan has come under growing military and political pressure to accept Beijing's rule, including repeated Chinese air force missions in Taiwan's air defence identification zone, to international concern.

The sorties began on Oct 1, China's National Day, and peaked last Monday when the mainland sent 56 planes, breaking the daily record for such missions.

Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed on Saturday to realise "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan and did not directly mention the use of force.

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