Taiwan 'already independent', Tsai warns China

Cheryl Sanders
January 16, 2020

But, China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang was quick to pour cold water on Tsai's proposal, blaming her party for causing a cross-strait stalemate over the past four years. "We deserve respect from China", she said.

On Monday, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi dismissed his victory and warned Taiwan's supporters of independence, saying that "dividing the country is doomed to leave a name that will stink for eternity". "This round of Taiwan's local elections can not change the status of Taiwan as a part of China", Ma said.

In a thinly veiled threat, Ma cited the "increasing voices" within China expecting Beijing to step up its efforts to protect the "one China principle" through a process of "reunification through military force".

"I hope the Chinese side can understand in-depth the opinion and will expressed by Taiwanese people in this election and can review some of their current policies", she told reporters on Wednesday.

Due to Chinese pressure and Taiwan's diplomatic isolation, the United States is the only large country to sell island weapons.


Taiwan News noted that it was a great win for President Tsai who will be serving her last term as President since, in Taiwan, no person can become President for more than 2 terms. "Invading Taiwan is something that is going to be very costly for China".

"We don't have a need to declare ourselves an independent state", Tsai told BBC, adding, "We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China, Taiwan".

Tsai opposes unification but has never said that she would formally declare Taiwan's independence, which would provoke Beijing.

"Her administration will continue to seek to enhance Taiwan's military capabilities through both USA weaponry and development of indigenous defense systems", said Zhang Baohui, a professor of political science and director of the Centre for Asian Pacific Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

That's raised the stakes - and the urgency - for Tsai after her landslide election victory Saturday over China-friendly challenger Han Kuo-yo.


But Beijing has refused, cutting off official communication with her administration.

The bill was proposed by the DPP after a self-proclaimed Chinese spy confessed previous year to Australian authorities that he helped funnel money into Taiwanese elections.

Beijing blamed what it called "fake news", as well as Western interference for Tsai's victory.

But the strong-arm tactics backfired with voters resoundingly backing Tsai for another four more years.


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