Sun, Mar 12, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Chinese official offers hope on ties

’NEW LANGUAGE:’The All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots president said that he hopes relations ‘start to warm’ following a change of tone in a new CCP report

Reuters, BEIJING

China plans to formulate “new language” toward relations with Taiwan when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) holds a key congress later this year, a senior Chinese official said on Friday, holding out hope for an improvement in strained ties.

China has heaped pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office last year, cutting off a formal dialogue mechanism and taking two of the nation’s diplomatic allies in Africa.

China is deeply suspicious of Tsai, suspecting she wants to push for formal independence, a red line for Beijing, although she says she wants to maintain peace with China.

Speaking on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament, All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots president and National People’s Congress member Wang Yifu (汪毅夫) said he had always been optimistic about relations with Taiwan.

“I hope cross-Taiwan Straits relations will start to warm ... after the new language regarding cross-Taiwan Straits in the work report of the 19th congress of the [Chinese] Communist Party,” said Wang, who holds a rank equivalent to a Cabinet minister, without elaborating.

The once-every-five-years congress is China’s most important political event of the year, when a new generation of senior leaders are to be ushered in, although Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is to remain in office.

Wang is a member of the Chinese-appointed Taiwan delegation to parliament, made up of defectors, their descendents and others who trace their roots to Taiwan, to support China’s position that the nation is their sovereign territory.

Wang said that if Taiwan formally declared independence it would “bring catastrophic harm” to the nation.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) told parliament’s Taiwan delegation this week that the end of the road of Taiwanese independence is unification.

“It wasn’t tough talk, but the inescapable truth,” said Wang, whose ancestry is Taiwanese, but who was born in China in 1950.

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