KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said Saturday that the self-ruled island will work to improve its rescue and defense capabilities with new technologies, saying strengthening Taiwan is key to maintaining peace.
After inspecting an anti-terror drill in Kaohsiung city in southwestern Taiwan, Tsai promised her government would strengthen policies to protect maritime and border security.
“The safer Taiwan is, the safer the world is,” she said.
Tsai’s comments come as the democratic island nation faces a military threat from China, which sees Taiwan as a separatist state and will take it back by force if necessary.
In Saturday’s drills, Taiwan’s security officers demonstrated how to protect against terrorist attacks at sea. Some of them boarded a small boat controlled by “terrorists” and arrested them. Others jumped from a flying helicopter. The simulation ended with a spectacular scene of some officers hanging in the air as they returned to the helicopter.
Taiwan and China were divided in 1949 following a civil war, with the ruling Communist Party controlling the mainland. The island has never been part of the People’s Republic of China, but Beijing says it should be united with the mainland.
Beijing has stepped up its fight to win over Taiwan’s diplomatic allies since independence-seeker Thailand took power in 2016. In March, Honduras established normal relations with China, becoming the latest of several countries to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
Honduran President Xiomara Castro arrived in Shanghai on Friday for his first visit since establishing ties. The country said it will strengthen cooperation with the financial center and actively participate in the China International Import Expo in November, state media Xinhua reported on Saturday.