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Taiwan Pres. Vows to Strengthen Defense06/10 08:17


   KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan (AP) -- Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Saturday said 
the self-ruled island would work to improve its rescue and defense capabilities 
with new technologies, adding that strengthening Taiwan is key to maintaining 

   Tsai also pledged that her government would promote policies to safeguard 
maritime and border security after inspecting an anti-terror drill in Kaohsiung 
city in southwestern Taiwan.

   "The safer Taiwan is, the safer the world is," she said.

   Tsai's remarks came as the democratic island faces increasing military 
threats from China, which sees Taiwan as a breakaway province to be retaken by 
force if necessary.

   During Saturday's drills, Taiwanese security officers demonstrated how they 
would defend against terrorist acts at sea. Some climbed from small boats onto 
a vessel controlled by "terrorists" and brought them under control. Others 
rappelled down from a flying helicopter. The simulation ended with a dramatic 
scene in which some officers hung in the air as they were sent back to the 

   Taiwan and China split in 1949 following a civil war that ended with the 
ruling Communist Party in control of the mainland. The island has never been 
part of the People's Republic of China, but Beijing says it must unite with the 

   Beijing also has intensified its battle to win away Taiwan's diplomatic 
allies since independence-leaning Tsai took office in 2016. In March, Honduras 
established formal relations with China, becoming the latest in a string of 
countries to break diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

   Honduran President Xiomara Castro arrived in Shanghai on Friday on her first 
visit since the establishment of ties. She said her country would strengthen 
cooperation with the financial hub and actively participate in the China 
International Import Expo to be held there in November, according to a report 
by state media Xinhua on Saturday.

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