TAIPEI (CNA) – President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will vow to safeguard Taiwan’s values of democracy and freedom and people’s way of life when she addresses the country on Oct. 10 to celebrate National Day, according to the Presidential Office.
The theme of this year’s celebrations is “Better Taiwan.” Tsai will talk about how her administration has been making Taiwan better through three approaches — pursuing reforms, safeguarding democracy, and finding a place for Taiwan in the new international order — Presidential Office spokesperson Sidney Lin (林鶴明) said Sunday.
On “safeguarding Taiwan’s democracy and freedom,” Tsai will focus on the nation’s hard-earned democracy and what is being done to protect it.
The National Day represents the birth of the Republic of China (ROC), which is now Taiwan’s official name. Lin said Tsai will express her appreciation to the ROC servicemen and servicewomen for safeguarding the country 24 hours a day.
As commander-in-chief, the president will say that she will take full responsibility for military reform and strengthen the military’s capabilities to ensure the military is more capable of carrying out joint operations, according to Lin.
Tsai will say she places great emphasis on military morale and note that she has worked to improve living conditions and benefits for men and women in uniform as well as the career advancement of the military’s non-commissioned officers, the spokesman said.
Lin said the president will also emphasize the government’s effort to forge a more sustainable military retirement system and speak on the significance of the indigenous defense industry.
On cross-strait relations, Lin said Tsai will speak on the 30th anniversary of cross-strait exchanges. The lifting of the ban on visiting relatives in China by Taiwan on Nov. 2 1987 marked the beginning of people-to-people exchanges.
Tsai will say that both sides should treasure the hard-won results and the accumulated goodwill from the past 30 years and that Taiwan will seek breakthroughs in the cross-strait relationship on this existing basis, according to Lin.
Lin said the president will reiterate her message of last October on cross-strait ties: “Our goodwill will not change, our commitments will not change, we will not revert to the old path of confrontation, and we will not bow to pressure.” Another approach Tsai will talk about is adjusting Taiwan’s position in the world.
Tsai will say that Taiwan is ready to play a more prominent role in shaping regional prosperity and stability and that through the New Southbound Policy, the government will reorient Taiwan toward a more advantageous position in international society, according to Lin.
In response to growing non-traditional threats in the world, the president will mention the humanitarianism-oriented security perspective Taiwan has upheld while talking about putting Taiwan at the forefront of promoting innovation and progressive values across the Asia-Pacific region, Lin said.
Since Tsai came to office in May last year, her administration has embarked on various reforms — another of her approach to trying to make Taiwan better.
Lin said Tsai will discuss the accomplishments of her major reforms, including industrial reform, social housing, long-term care 2.0, early childhood education and care service, pension reform, judicial reform, and anti-narcotics efforts.
Lin said Tsai will emphasize her determination to overcome Taiwan’s challenges and will vow to better Taiwan by resolving problems one step at a time.
By Shih Hsiu-chuan