The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

William Lai Chingte urges peace as he becomes Taiwan’s new president

Taipei, Taiwan – William Lai Ching-te has been sworn in as president of Taiwan in a ceremony that included a 21-gun salute, as he later praised the self-governing island’s democracy and urged China to stop its “intimidation”. Lai and Vice President Hsia Bi-khim took their oaths on Monday beneath a portrait of Sun Yatsen, the founder of the Republic of China (ROC), the formal name for Taiwan’s government, in a ceremony at the presidential building in Taipei. The 64-year-old was given two seals that symbolise presidential power from the parliament speaker: one the ROC seal and the other, a seal of honour. Both were brought to the island by the Nationalists in 1949 after they lost China’s civil war to the Communists. Outgoing President Tsai Ingwen also bid farewell during the ceremony, signing off after eight years and a maximum two terms in office. Addressing the crowds gathered at the presidential building, Lai noted the significance of May 20 – the day in 1949 when martial law was imposed and also the day in 1997 when Taiwan’s first popularly-elected president was sworn into office – “signalling to the international community that the Republic of China, Taiwan, is a sovereign and independent nation with sovereignty resting in the people”. He stressed Taiwan would make no concessions on its democracy and freedoms and called on Beijing to “stop its aggression against Taiwan” and strivie to “maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the region, ensuring the world is free from the fear of war.” Beijing claims Taiwan as its own and has not ruled out the use of force to achieve its goals. Throughout Tsai’s two terms in office, it sent military aircraft and ships near the island and has continued to do so since Lai, whom it considers a “separatist” and a “troublemaker”, emerged the victor in January’s elections. Representatives from 29 countries joined the ceremony on Monday, including those from Taiwan’s last 12 diplomatic allies in the Pacific, Central America and the Holy See .Aljazeera

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.