During her speech in front of the presidential office in the capital Taipei, Tsai warned that Taiwan is facing the "most complex situation" in the past 72 years, since the end of the Chinese civil war. Her speech came days after China flew record numbers of warplanes into its defense zone in a significant escalation of military tensions. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday vowed to pursuewhat Beijing called "reunification" with Taiwan by peaceful means.
"Those who forget their heritage, betray their motherland and seek to split the country will come to no good," Xi said. He also reiterated calls for Taipei to unify with Beijing under a "one country, two systems" model, similar to that used in Hong Kong -- but generally opposed by Taiwan. In response, Tsai said on Sunday that Taiwan hopes for "an easing of cross-strait relations" and will not "act rashly," but stressed "there should be absolutely no illusions that the Taiwanese people will bow to pressure."
"We will continue to bolster our national defense and demonstrate our determination to defend ourselves in order to ensure that nobody can force Taiwan to take the path China has laid out for us," she said at the National Day celebrations, which marked 110 years of a revolution that ended the last Chinese imperial dynasty.