• US-North Korea ties ‘no lesson’ for Beijing and Taipei

Spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Ma Xiaoguang has said that the United States’ relations with North Korea cannot be a model for the relations between China and Taiwan.

Spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Ma Xiaoguang on Wednesday has dismissed a reporter’s suggestion in a regular news briefing that a Tuesday summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un could be a model for a meeting between Beijing and Taipei.

“The Taiwan issue is purely an internal Chinese affair. Its nature is entirely different to North Korea-US relations,” Ma said. “Taiwan and the mainland both belong to one China and relations across the Taiwan Strait are not state-to-state ties.”

Singapore, which hosted the historic summit between Trump and Kim, was once the site of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s then-president Ma Ying-jeou in 2015.

Spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office referred to that summit and said it was held on the political basis of opposing Taiwan’s independence and showed both sides of the Taiwan Strait had the ability and wisdom to resolve their own problems.

Ma Xiaoguang also stressed that any improvement in ties with Taipei depended on Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party, led by President Tsai Ing-wen.

Tsai was elected as president in 2016.

Relations between Beijing and Taiwan strained after Tsai took office. She is opposed to the “One China” principle, according to which Chinese sovereignty is recognized on Taiwan.

Almost all world countries — including the US — recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. The US, however, has from time to time flirted with the idea of recognizing Taiwan as independent.

Despite switching diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979, Washington has remained Taiwan’s strongest ally and only foreign supplier of weapons.

President Trump has in particular been playing up the Taiwan card against China.

In March, he signed new rules that would allow senior US officials to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts and vice versa.

Tsai angered Beijing when she congratulated Trump’s presidency in a phone conversation with him in January last year.

Just on Tuesday, the US opened a de facto embassy in Taiwan, highlighting Washington’s willingness to use its relations with the self-ruled island against China.

 

Jun 13, 2018 16:27 Asia/Tehran
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