A state-run Chinese newspaper yesterday denounced Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as narrow-minded and selfish after she criticized the historic meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore on Saturday.
Ma and Xi shook hands and smiled for the media before entering a closed-door session at the Shangri-La Hotel on Saturday afternoon, marking a symbolic milestone in the cross-strait relationship since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.
Tsai blasted Ma for “failing to stand up for democracy” and freedom, and for not describing Taiwan as the Republic of China.
In a post on her Facebook page on Sunday, Tsai accused Ma of trying to “limit Taiwan’s future... to achieve his own political status.”
The Global Times newspaper — which has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — said in an editorial that Tsai had “made gaffes,” describing her as “wrathful” in an attempt to “belittle the meeting.”
She had “exposed her support for ‘Taiwan independence,’” it added.
“Tsai’s demand has revealed her narrow mind and extreme political selfishness of putting votes above peaceful development across the Strait,” the paper said.
Relations between Beijing and Taipei have grown closer since Ma’s 2008 election, with increases in trade and tourism, as well as the start of direct flights.
However, popular concern about Beijing’s influence is growing in Taiwan and the DPP looks set to win January’s presidential election.
The Global Times warned of “powerful countermoves from the mainland” if Tsai pursues independence once taking office.
“She might have a quicker and uglier defeat if she does not learn from Chen being crushed,” it said, referring to former DPP president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
Chen was imprisoned for 20 years in 2008 on corruption charges, but was released on medical parole in January.
“The future of Taiwan must be decided by 1.3 billion Chinese, including those in Taiwan,” it said.
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