China has jumped into the flap caused by a column on Taiwan that was printed last month in the Financial Times, and is now officially talking about “early” unification.
“Let me outline China’s position on this major issue of principle,” says Dai Qingli, a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in the UK.
In the original column, printed last month, Financial Times Asia editor David Pilling argued that the US should not sacrifice Taiwan and throw it as a “bone” to what he described as “the Chinese dog.”
Pilling said that Taiwan was a “jewel” and that the vast majority of Taiwanese remain implacably against unification.
As reported in the Taipei Times yesterday, the column caused William Bader, a former chief of staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to write to the London newspaper charging that the administration of US President Barack Obama had “shown little to no knowledge or real interest” in the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).
Bader urged the White House to read and follow the TRA which commits the US to provide Taiwan with defensive weapons.
That letter and the column that provoked it, have generated enormous interest amongst Taiwanese -Americans worried that US -support for Taiwan could be lagging.
Now Dai has joined the fray.
In a letter given almost as much prominence as Bader’s letter, Dai said: “There is only one China in the world. Both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are indivisible. In recent years, cross-strait relations have been improving.”
“People-to-people exchanges are thriving. Blood is thicker than water. Taiwan is not a ‘bone’ which can be thrown at will by foreign countries. The Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have the wisdom and capability to achieve the early reunification of China, she wrote.”
“The Taiwan issue concerns the dignity of the 1.3 billion Chinese people. We firmly oppose any interference in the Taiwan issue by any country or any person. China has consistently opposed US arms sales to Taiwan. In the three China-US Joint Communiques, the US acknowledged that there is but one China and undertook to gradually reduce arms sales to Taiwan, leading over time to final resolution,” she added.
China experts in Washington said that the letter appeared to be written is such a way as to suggest that it had actually been composed in Beijing and that it was in effect a message directed at the White House.
“China will continue to work with the US to handle Taiwan--related issues properly on the basis of one China and the three communiques to safeguard overall China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, the letter added.
“Unfortunately, whenever cross-strait relations improve, there are people who try to stir up confrontation, and even clamor for continued arms sales by the US to Taiwan,” she wrote.
“This is very harmful to peace, stability and development across the Taiwan Strait and in the region. We trust that FT (Financial Times) readers will not be misled by these acts which go against the trend of the times,” she wrote.
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