The accidental firing of a missile by the navy on Friday last week is not expected to impact relations across the Taiwan Strait, but China has used the opportunity to put pressure on Taiwan, the National Security Bureau said.
In a report submitted to the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee ahead of its meeting yesterday, the bureau said that the incident in which an anti-ship missile was accidentally fired was widely covered in international media.
There have been no official statements issued by other countries, which led to the bureau’s conclusion that the incident is not expected to affect the regional situation.
Media outlets controlled by the Chinese military did not report on or comment on the incident, but other media reports and online commentaries in China described it as a move to spark tension across the Taiwan Strait, the bureau said.
The government notified China of the incident through the Mainland Affairs Council and the Straits Exchange Foundation, but has not received a direct response and no media reports in China have mentioned the gesture, the bureau added.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) demanded an explanation from Taiwan when speaking to reporters on Friday last week and reiterated China’s position in maintaining cross-strait peace and stability on the foundation of the so-called “1992 consensus.”
The bureau said Zhang’s remarks and the Chinese media reports show that China is taking advantage of the event and to pressure Taiwan to accept the consensus.
The council said the incident shows the need to maintain effective communications between the two sides of the Strait, which have been suspended since President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) government took office on May 20.
The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides of the Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
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