‘Taiwan Will Do Whatever It Takes to Defend Itself,’ President Says

Taiwan is on the front lines of “the global contest between the liberal democratic order and the authoritarian alternative,” the country’s leader has said in a wide-ranging essay that echoed President Joe Biden’s rallying cry against autocracy.

Tsai Ing-wen’s words, published by Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, came after four days of large-scale training missions by Chinese military planes in the skies near Taiwan. The State Department and White House said the U.S. was “very concerned” by the flights into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, which totaled 149 sorties as of Monday.

“Taiwan does not seek military confrontation,” Tsai wrote, saying the island wants “mutually beneficial coexistence” with its neighbors, which in China’s case has refused to renounce the use of force against it. “But if its democracy and way of life are threatened, Taiwan will do whatever it takes to defend itself.”

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