Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian reiterated his call for the island's sovereignty, rejecting Beijing's "one-China" principle in his New Year's message, AFP reported. "Hereby we must stress that Taiwan is our country," Chen said after attending a national flag-hoisting ceremony. "Taiwan's sovereignty belongs to 23 million people. It definitely does not belong to the People's Republic of China. Only the 23 million have the right to decide on the future of Taiwan. Taiwan is part of the world but not part of China." Chen's remarks came after China issued its 2006 Defense White Paper which called for a strong and credible military, citing what it termed security challenges it cannot ignore, such as Taiwan's independence drive.