President Tsai thanks NBA player Enes Kanter for standing with Taiwan

President Tsai Ing-wen (???) thanked NBA player Enes Kanter on Saturday for voicing support for Taiwan in a video posted earlier that day, in which the Boston Celtics center urged people to "stand with Taiwan" and "support democracy."

"Taiwan is a democratic and free country, and I stand with Taiwan," Kanter said in a video posted to Twitter.

In the video, Kanter also criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) for claiming that Taiwan is a part of China and constantly threatening to invade Taiwan -- behavior which Kanter described as Xi "being stuck in his own world" -- and said that China's actions prove that the country is a threat to freedom everywhere.

"Taiwan is now at the frontlines against China's dictatorship. My message to all freedom supporters watching this today is we are stronger together.

"We must all stand with Taiwan, support Taiwan, and defend democracy," Kanter said, adding that he believed that the future of Taiwan must be determined by the Taiwanese people.

Tsai replied to Kanter with a video message of her own, which she began by thanking Kanter for standing with Taiwan.

"We will always defend our hard-earned freedom and democracy, and the support from you and our friends around the world gives us strength," Tsai said.

"Taiwan is also home to many basketball fans, and we are all rooting for you," she added.

Kanter thanked Tsai for her "kind words" in a reply on Sunday morning. "I can't wait to come visit your beautiful country, learn about Taiwanese culture, taste some of your delicious food, and meet the brave people of Taiwan," he tweeted.

"We are stronger when we stand together," Kanter said, including at the end of the sentence an image of the Republic of China (Taiwan) flag.

Kanter was born in Switzerland to Turkish parents and raised in Turkey, before moving to the United States to play basketball at age 17.

He has been outspoken in recent years against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who he considers a dictator. The stance has resulted in his Turkish passport being revoked and him being unable to see his family in Turkey.

In late October, Kanter began criticizing the Chinese government and the human rights abuses committed by Beijing against Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Hong Kongers on social media.

He has also worn shoes bearing the slogans "Free Uyghur," "Stop genocide, torture, rape, slave labor," and "Free Tibet" before and during NBA games.

His posts and actions have caused Celtics games to be pulled from Chinese video-streaming site Tencent.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel