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The friction in the Taiwan Strait increased after the United States sailed its warships through the narrow waterway last month. The measure provoked criticism from Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of its territory in line with the One China principle that supports the United States.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen vowed that her country would not “give a step” in self-defence and backed her claim by adding two former USS frigates to the Taiwan fleet.
“We want to send a clear and firm message from the Taiwanese people to the international community that we will not yield a step to defend Taiwan and protect our free and democratic lifestyle,” Tsai was quoted as saying by AFP after inspecting the ships They were officially commissioned at a military base in southern Taiwan on Thursday.
While the PM did not mention what caused Taiwan to increase its defence capability, it was no surprise that it continued to scold China’s military actions in the region as an “attempt to weaken Taiwan’s sovereignty” and “to damage peace and regional stability.
The two guided missile frigates of the Oliver Hazard Perry class were previously called USS Taylor and USS Gary. They were discharged from the US Navy. UU In 2015 after more than 30 years of service and was approved for sale to Taiwan with the new names, ROCS Ming-Chuan and ROCS Feng Jia.
Tsai Ing-wen, who took office in 2016, leads the Progressive Democratic Party, which relies on independence. She refuses to accept Taiwan as part of mainland China and, at times, uses strong-willed rhetoric to challenge what she calls “immense pressure” on the island’s giant neighbour.
Relations between Taiwan and China have been irregular since 1949 when the Communists expelled the nationalist government to the island-state during the civil war. While Beijing regards Taiwan as part of an “indivisible China,” Taiwan (officially the Republic of China) is considered the successor state of pre-Communist China.
The United States, Taiwan’s closest ally, does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation and officially adheres to the “One China” policy. Despite this, Washington has maintained informal relations with the island nation after breaking diplomatic ties with it in 1979.
The United States has recently been flexing its military force in the region, in the face of China’s discontent. On October 22, two ships of the United States Navy crossed the Taiwan Strait to guarantee, according to US officials, a free passage through the strategic route. The move, however, has angered Beijing, which hinted that it did not contribute to cross-strait peace and stability.
In addition, Washington recently announced the delivery of $ 330 million worth of parts for Taiwan’s military aircraft, which led to accusations of breach of international law by China.
Source: ES News-Front