Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, right, and Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benitez listen to report as they attend a military drill in Taoyuan city, Nothern Taiwan, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. President Benitez is in Taiwan to attend the Taiwan National day on Oct. 10. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

Taiwan leader calls on China to not be 'source of conflict'

October 09, 2018 - 11:08 pm

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has called on China not to be a "source of conflict," and has pledged to boost the island's defenses against Beijing's military threats.

In a National Day address, Tsai said the best way to defend Taiwan was to "make it indispensable and irreplaceable to the world."

China has been increasing diplomatic, economic and military pressure on Taiwan to compel Tsai to agree to China's insistence that the self-governing island democracy is a part of China.

Tsai also said Wednesday that Taiwan would upgrade its security by increasing the defense budget annually and further developing domestic defense industries.

China and Taiwan separated amid civil war in 1949 and China considers the island a part of its territory to be taken control of by force if necessary.

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