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Taiwan's Tsai: China's 'one country, two systems' model has failed

President hardens anti-Beijing stance ahead of January election

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during the Taiwan National Day celebrations on Oct. 10. (Photo by Kensaku Ihara)

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday rejected China's 'one country, two systems' model, calling for the need for the self-ruled island to stand up to Beijing's growing regional hegemony.

"We are witnessing China's rise and expansion, as they challenge free, democratic values and the global order through a combination of authoritarianism, nationalism, and economic might," Tsai said in a speech to mark Taiwan's national day. "As the strategic forefront of the Indo-Pacific region, Taiwan has become the first line of defense for democratic values."

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