Xi warns of ‘grim’ situation with Taiwan

Published September 27, 2021
In this file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech during the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. — AFP/File
In this file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech during the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. — AFP/File

TAIPEI: The situation in the Taiwan Strait is “complex and grim”, Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote in a congratulatory letter on Sunday to the newly elected leader of Taiwan’s main opposition party, who has pledged to renew talks with Beijing.

Taiwan’s Kuomintang (KMT) elected as their leader on Saturday former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu, who said he would rekindle stalled high-level contacts with China’s ruling Communist Party.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has stepped up military and political pressure to force the democratically ruled island to accept Chinese sovereignty, even though most Taiwanese have shown no interest in being governed by Beijing.

In Xi’s letter, a copy of which was released by the KMT, he said both parties had had “good interactions” based on their joint opposition to Taiwan independence.

The Chinese president writes letter to the leader of Kuomintang party, who favours high-level contacts with the ruling party in Beijing

“At present, the situation in the Taiwan Strait is complex and grim. All the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation must work together with one heart and go forward together,” wrote Xi, who is also head of the Communist Party.

He expressed hope that both parties could cooperate on “seeking peace in the Taiwan Strait, seeking national reunification and seeking national revitalisation”.

Chu, who badly lost the 2016 presidential election to current President Tsai Ing-wen, responded to Xi that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait were “all the children of the Yellow Emperor” — in other words, all Han Chinese.

Chu blamed Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for tensions with Beijing after pursuing anti-China policies.

Chu, who met Xi in China in 2015, said he hoped to “seek common ground and respect differences, increase mutual trust and geniality, strengthen exchanges and cooperation so as to allow the continued peaceful development of cross-strait relations”.

Under outgoing KMT leader Johnny Chiang’s 17-month tenure, high-level contacts with China stalled amid military tensions and suspicion in Beijing the party was not sufficiently committed to the idea Taiwan was part of “one China”.

As well as losing the 2016 polls, the KMT were trounced in elections last year after failing to shake DPP accusations they were Beijing’s lackeys.

China refuses to talk to Tsai, calling her a separatist. She says Taiwan is already an independent country called the Republic of China, the island’s formal name, and that only Taiwan’s people have the right to decide their own future.

Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

The fall guy
Updated 18 Aug, 2022

The fall guy

Maryam Nawaz’s public distancing from Miftahrecent fuel price hike was quite uncalled for.
Never-ending scourge
18 Aug, 2022

Never-ending scourge

POLIO eradication efforts in the country appear to have suddenly taken a giant leap backwards. A day after...
Frozen Afghan funds
18 Aug, 2022

Frozen Afghan funds

WITH Afghanistan facing a humanitarian catastrophe and economic collapse, the American decision to not release ...
No end to hostility
Updated 17 Aug, 2022

No end to hostility

It is time for all parties to rise above petty tactics and hostilities for political gains and pull country back from brink.
Deadly accidents
17 Aug, 2022

Deadly accidents

TWO horrific accidents on Tuesday, which resulted in high death tolls, illustrate the dangers people face while ...
New banknote
17 Aug, 2022

New banknote

PAKISTAN has a new currency note to mark the diamond jubilee of independence. The 75-rupee banknote, issued by the...