Faced with growing pressure on China, Taiwan launches the first English TV station

Taiwan launched its first English-language TV channel on Monday in a bid to boost its international reach in the face of increased pressure from Beijing.

However, TaiwanPlus will only be available on the island for now, limiting its international reach.

Self-governing Taiwan lives under the constant threat of invasion from China, which claims the island as part of its territory with a view to one day conquering it.

Beijing’s state-run media has an increasingly global presence, mainly through the CGTN television network and use of social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube, which are banned domestically.

Officials say TaiwanPlus, which launched last year with government support as an online streaming platform, is being used in part to counter China’s narrative.

While overseeing the opening ceremony on Monday, President Tsai Ing-wen said the 24-hour broadcaster will “bring Taiwan into the international community” as it seeks closer ties with “countries that share our core values ??of freedom and democracy.”

“I’m sure this new TV channel will help expand our international reach,” she said.

China has increased diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan in recent years.

She wants to keep the island’s democracy isolated and has reacted with growing anger to visits by foreign politicians, most recently with a massive show of force against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosis’ trip in August.

“We have an evil neighbor who constantly threatens us with violence…but we are not intimidated and life goes on as normal,” Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters at the unveiling.

“Freedom, democracy and human rights have made significant progress. Many friends in the world want to know how Taiwan did it, and Taiwan is willing to let the world know,” he added.

Culture Minister Lee Yung-te said the government hopes TaiwanPlus will be available in the United States in six months.