Taiwan's president delivers New Year address

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen spoke about cross-strait relations in her New Year address delivered at the presidential office on Friday.

Tsai said Taiwan is more important than ever from a global strategic standpoint, and that stabilizing relations across the Taiwan Strait is a concern for the Indo-Pacific region and the world. She also noted that China's frequent military activities around Taiwan is a threat to peace in the Indo-Pacific region.

Tsai called on China to engage in talks as equals. She said Taiwan is "willing to facilitate meaningful dialogue under the principles of parity and dignity as long as the Beijing authorities sincerely want to resolve differences and improve cross-strait relations."

She added that she hopes "regular, orderly people-to-people exchanges across the strait" will gradually return once the coronavirus pandemic is under control "to improve mutual understanding and reduce misunderstandings."

Meanwhile, Tsai posted on Twitter a New Year message in Japanese.

She said she sincerely wishes the pandemic will be overcome this year, and everyone will have a very healthy year. She expressed hope for welcoming many visitors from Japan when the virus is contained.