(TibetanReview.net, Jan02’21) – Making it clear that talks can happen only on its own terms, China has rebuffed the latest offer from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, saying Taipei was engaging in a “cheap trick” and provocation by seeking confrontation with China at every turn, reported Reuters Jan 2.
Earlier, in her New Year speech Jan 1, Tsai had expressed readiness to have “meaningful” talks with China as equals as long as they were willing to put aside confrontation.
In a statement late Jan 1, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has said there was no way of changing the reality that the island was part of China, and the refusal of Taiwan’s government to accept that was the root cause of the present tensions between the two sides.
China views the democratic and self-governed island as its own territory, although it has never been a part of the People’s Republic.
Beijing cut off a formal talks mechanism in 2016 after Tsai, who belongs to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was first elected, viewing her as a separatist bent on a formal declaration of independence.
Her election victory marked a sharp decline in relations across the Taiwan Strait.
The Chinese statement said that since 2016, Taiwan’s ruling DPP “has continued to provoke by seeking independence, confronting the mainland at every turn, deliberately creating confrontation across the Taiwan Strait”.
Tsai, re-elected by a landslide last year on a pledge to stand up to China and defend Taiwan’s democracy and security, has repeatedly said Taiwan is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name, noted the Reuters report.