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CHINA CAUTIONED, ALLIES PRAISED BY NEW TAIWAN PRESIDENT

By King’s Office Correspondents | 2024-05-21

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Peace is priceless, and war has no winners.

This is the message of new Taiwan President Lai Ching-te in his inaugural address yesterday witnessed by His Majesty King Mswati III and Inkhosikati laFogiyane and libandla, as he called on mainland China to desist from the threats against the island country.

The president thanked nations around the world for their consideration and support for Taiwan, declaring to all that democracy and freedom were Taiwan's unwavering commitments.

“I also want to call on China to cease their political and military intimidation against Taiwan, share with Taiwan the global responsibility of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait as well as the greater region, and ensure the world is free from the fear of war,” he urged.

President Ching-te said the Taiwanese were a peace-loving people who treat others with kindness. I have always believed that if the leader of a country puts the people's welfare above all, then peace in the Taiwan Strait, mutual benefits, and prosperous coexistence would be common goals.

“Therefore, I hope that China will face the reality of the Republic of China's existence, respect the choices of the people of Taiwan, and in good faith, choose dialogue over confrontation, exchange over containment, and under the principles of parity and dignity, engage in cooperation with the legal government chosen by Taiwan's people,” he saidh.

He further called on his fellow citizens to pursue the ideal of peace, but must not harbour any delusions.

“So long as China refuses to renounce the use of force against Taiwan, all of us in Taiwan ought to understand, that even if we accept the entirety of China's position and give up our sovereignty, China's ambition to annex Taiwan will not simply disappear,” he said.

He called on the nation to demonstrate their resolution to defend Taiwan and also raise their defense awareness and strengthen their legal framework for national security.

“This means actively promoting the Four Pillars of Peace action plan: strengthened national defence; improved economic security; stable and principled cross-strait leadership; and values-based diplomacy.

 “By standing side-by-side with other democratic countries, we can form a peaceful global community that can demonstrate the strength of deterrence and prevent war, achieving our goal of peace through strength,” he said.  The inauguration was well-attended by the countries allies, including Eswatini, and spectacular best described the choreography that saw a colourful display of all the artistic talent that Taiwan has to offer. 

Breaking an ‘eight-year curse’

Taipei, Taiwan - The president has described the party’s victory as proof that in a democracy, the people have the final say.

He said many people had interpreted his and the Vice-President Bi-khim Hsiao's election victory as "breaking the eight-year curse," referring to the fact that no political party has been able to remain in office for over two terms.

“But the reality is that in a democracy, the people have the final say.

“There is no such thing as a ‘curse’ in any election. It is simply that the people put the ruling party under the toughest of tests, choosing the nation's future in the most genuine way,” he said. He racked that on this day in 1949, martial law went into effect in Taiwan, and Taiwan plunged into a dark era of authoritarian rule as well as that on this day in 1996, Taiwan's first democratically elected president took the oath of office, conveying to the international community that the Republic of China (Taiwan)was a sovereign, independent nation in which sovereignty lied in the hands of the people.

“On this day in 2024, having completed our third transition of political power, Taiwan officially commences, for the first time, the third consecutive term of the same political party in office.

“We also set sail into a new era that is full of challenges, yet also brimming with limitless hope,“ he told the nation. He thanked the former president Tsai Ing-wen, former vice- president Chen Chien-jen, and the administrative team for their hard work over these past eight years, saying they had all helped build a solid base for Taiwan's development.

He also thanked the people for defending democracy, remaining resolute and refusing to be swayed by external forces as well as turning a new page in Taiwan's history.

“Every day of my term, I will strive to prove myself as someone in whom you can trust and count on, by acting justly, showing mercy, and being humble, and by treating our people as family. The new administration will work tirelessly and to the best of our ability, as all the nation's people put us to the test.

“We will also pursue continuous reform, shaping a new face for Taiwanese politics, “ he said.

No absolute majority parliament

While the new president of Taiwan has pledged continued strengthening of bilateral relations with it’s allies, he has made it known that they will be dealing with a country that will have a slightly changed political landscape.

He said it was now such that the legislature does not have an absolute majority.

Speaking during his inauguration,  President Lie Chang-te said this was the first time in 16 years that no party had an absolute majority, but called for cooperation for the best interest of the country working as one.

“In the face of this new political landscape, some are feeling anticipation, while others are anxious. I want to say to everyone, that this new structure is a result of the people's choice.

“Looking at it with a different frame of mind, a lack of absolute majority means that the ruling and opposition parties are now all able to share their ideas, and that we will be undertaking the nation's challenges as one,” he urged.

The president said the Legislative Yuan should observe procedural justice and the majority should respect the minority, while the minority accepts majority rule, as only then can they avoid conflict and maintain a stable and harmonious society.

President to build a prosperous new Taiwan

When he was young, the Taiwan president has said, he was determined to practice medicine and save lives.

When he went into politics, he was determined to transform Taiwan.

“Now, standing here, I am determined to strengthen the nation. With an unwavering heart, I accept the responsibility the people have entrusted to me as the 16th-term president of the Republic of China. In accordance with the Republic of China Constitution system, I will take on that solemn responsibility of leading the nation bravely forward,” he promised his people yesterday.

President Ching-te said this journey came about as a result of the valiant sacrifices and devotion of the many generations of people of Taiwan.

 “Although it was an arduous one, we made it through.

“Now, we not only witness the beginning of a new administration, but also usher in another hard-earned victory for democracy,” he said.

EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY CONTINUES

Following the April 3 earthquake in Taiwan, the new president announced that the central government had  already drawn up plans to funnel NT$28.55 billion into reconstruction and industry stimulus.

He said this would help the people of Hualien return to their normal lives as quickly as possible.

 He, once again, expressed sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families. He thanked all citizens who have assisted in the earthquake response and reconstruction efforts, as well as the international community for their concern and support.

Taiwan needs the world, world needs Taiwan

Taiwan President Lie Ching-te has said Taiwan needs the world, just as the world needs Taiwan.

He has said that Taiwan is not just opening a door to the world, but that  Taiwan is already on the world's center stage.

“As we look towards our future, we know that semiconductors will be indispensable. And the AI wave has already swept in. Taiwan has already mastered advanced semiconductor manufacturing, and we stand at the center of the AI revolution. We are a key player in supply chains for global democracies.

 For these reasons, Taiwan has an influence on global economic development, as well as humanity's well-being and prosperity.

He said the government would ward hard towards helping their enterprises expand their presence and market internationally.

“Taiwan has officially applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and we will continue to engage actively in regional economic integration.”

“We will endeavour to sign bilateral investment agreements with other democracies around the world and further deepen our trade partnerships. We will also work to resolve the carbon tax issue and thus open the path for further development,” he said.

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