Thu, Sep 17, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan to be on Xi-Obama talks agenda: China

‘MOST SENSITIVE ISSUE’:China said that mainstream public opinion in Taiwan favors good relations with China, which necessitate opposing independence

Reuters, BEIJING

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is to raise the issue of Taiwan in his talks with US President Barack Obama next week, the Chinese government said yesterday.

Xi’s visit comes just months before Taiwan’s presidential election in January, in which the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is expected to be thrashed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

China has been stepping up its rhetoric against the DPP as the vote nears.

“The Taiwan issue is the most important, most sensitive issue in Sino-US relations,” Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, told a regular briefing in Beijing after being asked if Taiwan would feature on the Xi-Obama agenda.

“We believe that, when the leaders of China and the United States meet, they will exchange views on important issues of mutual concern,” Ma said, without elaborating.

Beijing was alarmed in June when the DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the party’s presidential candidate, visited Washington to rally support from US officials and politicians.

Tsai has said she favors “maintaining the ‘status quo’” when asked about her China policy.

Ma said mainstream public opinion in Taiwan wanted to continue with developing good relations with China.

“We believe that only by upholding ... opposition to ‘Taiwan independence’ can the path to the peaceful development of cross-strait ties be maintained and broadened,” he said.

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