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The Taiwanese leader says the island is protected from China drilling



Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen assured residents that the island is safe on Tuesday, the day before China will perform live fire exercises in the narrow straits that separate the two.

Tsai spoke to reporters as she set out Swaziland, one of Taiwan's few remaining international allies, was not overturned by an ascendant in Beijing as cross-strait relations worsened.

Chinese officials have suggested that Wednesday's military exercise is a warning to Taiwan's pro-independence activists of his rhetoric against any challenge to his sovereignty.

China sees self-governing Taiwan as part of its territory back in the herd and does not rule out reunification by force.

Tsai told state security officials on Monday to closely monitor the "surrounding situation".

"Please be assured that we have the confidence and determination to ensure the safety of the country," she said at Taoyuan Internatio (19659007) Tsai added that maintaining a peaceful "status quo" across the strait the mission of their government.

Although Taiwan is a full-fledged democracy, it has never officially announced its independence from the mainland and Beijing has warned against military action

Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is traditional for independence and its newly appointed Prime Minister William Lai is a longtime Supporter of independence.

Asked if the upcoming military exercise is aimed at Lai, China Liu Jieyi, the director of the Taiwan Office, said Monday it was "an action to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our motherland."

Beijing has tightened military patrols around the island and isolated Taiwan's diplomatic pressure since Tsai took office in May 2016, when she refuses to accept both sides, they are part of "One China."

China has knocked off the dwindling number of Taiwan's allies, with S Waziland being one of the few who are unconvinced to give up the official recognition of the island as a land.

On her four-day trip to Africa, Tsai will take part in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the independence of Swaziland and the establishment of diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Observers say Wednesday's scheduled drills also serve as a signal to Washington that last week sent USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier, through the disputed South China Sea.

The region has become a potential hot spot the United States says China's aggressive activities in this area pose a threat to shipping's freedom.

Washington is also Taiwan's most powerful – unofficially minded ally and its largest arms supplier.

Relations between Washington and Taipei have changed in recent months, including the passing of a bill last month that promotes visits by officials at all levels.


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