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Taiwanese leader believes that Chinese military threat remains high

Taipei is committed to defending its sovereignty and national security, says Taiwanese chief executive Tsai Ing-wen

HONG KONG /XIANGGANG/, August 12. /TASS/. The head of the Taiwanese administration, Tsai Ing-wen, believes that the military threat posed by China "remains high," the island’s CNA news agency reported.

"Taiwan will not engage in conflict escalation or provoke disputes, but is firmly set to defend its sovereignty and national identity, protect democracy and freedom," she said.

Tensions in the Taiwan Strait and the whole Asia-Pacific region soared after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taipei on August 2-3, which drew sharp criticism from mainland China. Beijing had repeatedly warned Washington that it would retaliate, if Pelosi, who occupies third place in the US government hierarchy, visited Taiwan. On August 4, the Chinese military began large-scale exercises, including rocket launches in six areas around Taiwan. These exercises were supposed to end at noon on Sunday (07:00 Moscow time), but were prolonged indefinitely.

Taiwan has been governed by its own administration since 1949, when the remnants of the Kuomintang forces under Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) fled to the island after being defeated in the Chinese civil war. Taipei has since retained the flag and some other attributes of the former Republic of China, which had existed on the mainland before the Communists came to power. According Beijing’s official position, supported by most countries, including Russia, it is one of China’s provinces.