Taiwan's president calls for democracy coalition to protect freedom amid Chinese threats

Taiwan's president calls for democracy coalition to protect freedom amid Chinese threats
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Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is calling for a coalition of democracies to defend freedom amid rising tensions as China occupies areas of the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait.

China claims democratic Taiwan as its own despite the country's autonomy of governance from the Beijing-led government of mainland China, which has increasingly ramped its military activities around the island, Reuters reported.

Tsai spoke at a Taipei forum among Taiwanese security officials and Western diplomats, saying that Taiwan stands on the hardline defending democracy from "authoritarian aggression."

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"It is time for like-minded countries, and democratic friends in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond, to discuss a framework to generate sustained and concerted efforts to maintain a strategic order that deters unilateral aggressive actions," Tsai said.

While Taiwan is committed to maintaining regional peace and boosting defensive capabilities, Tsai said better security necessitated more collaborative efforts with other nations.

Despite Tsai's calls to action, input from the U.S. on the territorial disputes in the South China Sea has led to calls from the mainland government to tell other nations to stay out of the conflicts.

"The United States is not a country directly involved in the disputes. However, it has kept interfering in the issue," a statement from China's embassy in Washington, D.C., read in July. "Under the pretext of preserving stability, it is flexing muscles, stirring up tension and inciting confrontation in the region."

Still, China's ongoing pressure for Taiwan to accept its sovereignty over the island has led the democratic government no other choice but to seek closer allyships with “like-minded” nations.

Other countries maintaining formal diplomatic ties to Taiwan include Britain, Australia, Canada, the European Union and Japan.

The U.S. is by far the most extensive support ally for Taiwan, serving as the country's primary arms supplier.

Other nations have advocated for Taiwan in more diplomatic ways, such as supporting calls to allow the country membership into the World Health Organization.