Lai: Taiwan military's mission is to protect peace in Taiwan Strait

Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te says the highest mission of Taiwan's military is to take the heavy responsibility of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Lai was speaking on Sunday at an event at the military academy in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung to mark the school's 100th anniversary.

The academy was founded in China in 1924 by the Kuomintang party. It was relocated to Kaohsiung after the party lost a civil war with the Chinese Communist Party.

In his speech to cadets, Lai said the current army does not belong to any individual or party, but is loyal to Taiwan, the people and democracy.

He called on the cadets to recognize the challenges and the missions of the new era. He said the biggest challenge is that Taiwan is facing the powerful rise of China, which he said regards the annexation of Taiwan and the elimination of the Republic of China as the great revival of China's people.

Lai urged the cadets to firmly protect the military's beliefs, defend the constitutional system of freedom and liberal democracy, and stick to the position that the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China are not subordinate to each other.

His remark is based on the idea that Taiwan is distinct from China. Lai also referred to this in his inauguration speech in May.

In response, China conducted a large-scale military drill around Taiwan as a show of protest.