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Maintain one-China policy, says Beijing after Taiwan elects new prez

world Updated: Jan 17, 2016 23:15 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times

Taiwan's President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (C), from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), joins hands with counterpart Chen Chien-jen (L) after winning the elections in Taipei on January 15, 2016. (AFP)

China has urged the international community to continue following the “one-China” policy hours after Taiwan – which Beijing claims as its own territory -- elected Tsai Ing-wen, known to be against reunifying with the Mainland, as President.

Tsai, candidate for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), became the first woman president of the island country with a population of 23 million.

Tsai defeated rival candidate Eric Chu from the Kuomintang (KMT) party under which in the last decade Taiwan’s relationship with the Mainland had improved. The third candidate in the fray was People First Party (PFP) chairperson, James Soong.

In fact, last November, President Xi Jinping met his Taiwanese counterpart Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore in the first such meeting between the leaders of the two countries since 1949 when the civil war between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang ended, with Taiwan claiming independence.

So, it was not unexpected that Beijing’s reaction to Tsai’s victory would be circumspect.

Beijing – using sharp language -- urged countries not to encourage “Taiwan independence” – which a section of Taiwanese politicians advocate.

“We hope and believe that the international community will adhere to the one-China principle, oppose Taiwan independence in any form and support peaceful development of cross-Strait relations through concrete actions,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said.

“The Taiwan question falls in China’s internal affairs,” Hong was quoted saying by the official news agency, Xinhua.

There is only one China in the world, and both the Mainland and Taiwan belong to one China, he said, adding that “China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division”.

Hong added that China will stick to the one-China principle, opposes Taiwan independence, “two Chinas”, “one China, one Taiwan”.

“On the key issue of safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Chinese government is rock-firm and will never tolerate any secessionist activity of “Taiwan independence,” Hong said.

Most countries in the world, including India, follows the one-China policy and do not officially recognise Taiwan as an independent country. Instead of an embassy, the India-Taipai Association in the capital Taipei facilitates ties between the two countries and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in New Delhi does the same job.