President Tsai Ing-wen says she does not rule out the possibility that China could attack Taiwan. Tsai was speaking in a local TV interview that aired Monday evening local time. Cross-strait relations have been in a stalemate since Tsai took office in May 2016, with Beijing boycotting dialogue with her administration.
Tsai said the chance of China attacking Taiwan depends on the mindset of the Chinese Communist party’s leadership. She said, "Nobody can rule out the possibility. It depends on whether the decision maker is rational or not. The issue is not only a cross-strait issue any more. It is a regional issue. From the regional point of view, any rational decision maker must be very cautious in weighing up whether attacking [Taiwan] is a rational option or not."
Tsai said her policy is very clear and that is to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. She said her China policy has three main points. These include whether the president is strong-willed, whether the government can withstand pressure and whether the public can stand united.
The president said past experience has shown that compromises do not result in more goodwill or flexibility from Beijing.
Furthermore, Tsai said Taiwan has seen growing numbers of international tourists despite a decline in Chinese tourist arrivals since she took office. She said this demonstrates that the government is capable of dealing with pressure from China.
The president said that the basis for public unity in Taiwan comes from a shared belief in democracy, freedom and national security. She said Taiwanese society will only become more united if China continues to exert pressure.