Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen responded Saturday to a vow made earlier in the day by Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which the Chinese leader said he wanted to see a "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan.
Tsai and her office angrily shot back, calling on Beijing to abandon what it called coercion, and reiterated that only the Taiwanese people could decide their future.
Speaking to a large crowd at an air base in northern Taiwan at a pre-national day reception, Tsai vowed to uphold democracy.
"We will continue to work hard to hold fast the front lines of democracy and freedom, strengthening collaboration with international partners through shared values and making more contributions to the world."
The presidential office also described Taiwan as a sovereign independent country, not part of the People's Republic of China, and reiterated the clear rejection of China's offer of "one country, two systems" to rule the island.
Tensions between Taipei and Beijing have ratcheted up recently.
At the start of October, China's air force mounted four straight days of incursions into Taiwan's air defence identification zone.
Tsai referred indirectly to the provocation in her speech.
"We see the Air Force fighter jets in the sky, completely in control of safeguarding of our airspace. When our airspace is intruded, our pilots are always able to immediately take off to protect and safeguard our airspace."
The increased rhetoric comes ahead of October 10th.
That's the date Taiwan marks as its national day....the same day when the anti-imperial revolution began in China.
President Tsai is set to give a speech Sunday to mark the occasion.