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Taiwan president asks for international help to keep China’s hands off a democratic country

WATCH ABOVE: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen called on Saturday for international support to defend the self-ruled island’s democracy and way of life in the face of renewed threats from China.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen called on Saturday for international support to defend the self-ruled island’s democracy and way of life in the face of renewed threats from China.

Tsai’s comments came days after Chinese President Xi Jinping said nobody could change the fact that Taiwan was part of China, and that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should seek “reunification.”

WATCH: China’s Xi threatens Taiwan with force but also seeks peaceful ‘reunification’

China’s Xi threatens Taiwan with force but also seeks peaceful ‘reunification’
China’s Xi threatens Taiwan with force but also seeks peaceful ‘reunification’

“We hope that the international community takes it seriously and can voice support and help us,” Tsai told reporters in Taipei, referring to threats by China to use force to bring Taiwanunder its control.

If the international community did not support a democratic country that was under threat, “we might have to ask which country might be next,?” Tsai added.

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Taiwan is China’s most sensitive issue and is claimed by Beijing as its sacred territory. Xi has stepped up pressure on the democratic island since Tsai from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party became president in 2016.

READ MORE: China’s army must be ready for battle, President Xi tells top brass

President Xi said on Wednesday that China reserves the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control but will strive to achieve peaceful “reunification” with the island.

In response, Tsai has said the island would not accept a “one country, two systems” political arrangement with China, while stressing all cross-Strait negotiations needed to be carried out on a government-to-government basis.

Tsai on Saturday also urged China to have a “correct understanding” of what Taiwanese think and said actions such as political bullying were unhelpful in cross-strait relations.

WATCH: Jan. 2: Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday the island will never accept a “one country, two systems” political arrangement with China, after Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech that Beijing reserves the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control but will strive for peaceful “reunification.” 
Taiwan president defiant after China’s vow for reunification
Taiwan president defiant after China’s vow for reunification