China on Sunday said that the recent remarks by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen incite confrontation, distort facts and mislead the public in the name of so-called unity and consensus, reported local media. Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for China’s State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said: “Tsai’s remarks “incite confrontation, distort facts, mislead the public in the name of so-called unity and consensus while colluding with external forces to seek independence,” according to CGTN. Tsai — who delivered an address on Taiwan’s National Day on Sunday — promised to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty in the face of “unprecedented challenges” brought by China’s military coercion.
Stating Tsai’s remarks as a provocation, Ma said that “these are the root cause of the tension in cross-Strait relations and the greatest threat to regional peace and stability.” Reiterating that Taiwan is a part of China’s territory, Ma said: “The fact has never changed and will never be changed. China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity has never be partitioned and will never be partitioned,” reported CGTN.

Tsai, during her National Day address, also stated that Taipei is no longer seen as the orphan of Asia, but as an “Island of Resilience” that can face challenges with courage. “But the more we achieve, the greater the pressure we face from China. So I want to remind all my fellow citizens that we do not have the privilege of letting down our guard,” she added. Her remarks came amid the rising tensions between Beijing and Taipei as recently 150 Chinese military aircraft breached the airspace of Taiwan over a period of four days.

China claims full sovereignty over Taiwan despite the island’s self-governance for more than seven decades. Taipei has countered Beijing’s aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by China.