China yesterday expressed its dissatisfaction with President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inaugural address, describing it as an “incomplete test paper.”
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office issued a statement in response to Tsai’s speech, in which many people were looking for clues about the future of Taiwan-China ties.
China said it noticed that the “new leader of the Taiwan authorities” mentioned that in 1992, the two institutions representing the two sides of the Taiwan Strait arrived at various joint acknowledgments and understandings through communication and negotiations.
Tsai also said her new government would continue to promote the stable and peaceful development of cross-strait relations based on existing realities and political foundations, the statement said.
However, Tsai did not clearly recognize the so-called “1992 consensus” nor agree to its core meaning, and she did not propose concrete ways to guarantee the stable and peaceful development of the cross-strait relationship, it said.
“On the fundamental question of the nature of cross-strait relations that people on the two sides of the Strait are most concerned about, [Tsai] adopted a murky attitude,” the statement said.
“This is an incomplete test paper,” it said.
Cross-strait exchanges have slowed since Tsai and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) scored resounding victories in presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 16, achieving a complete transformation of power in Taiwan.
Tsai has refused to accept the “1992 consensus,” seen by the government of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) as a tacit agreement between the two sides of the Strait that there is only “one China,” with the two sides free to interpret what that means.
Official Chinese news outlets largely snubbed Tsai’s inauguration, with searches of her name and “Taiwan” blocked on social media.
China’s state-run media were almost mute about the inauguration, with no coverage at all on national TV or major newspapers, such as the People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece. Xinhua news agency took nearly three hours from when she was sworn in to report the fact in a 22-word dispatch in English.
For several hours, searches for “Taiwan” or “Tsai Ing-wen” on Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo both returned the message: “Sorry, no relevant result is found,” although her name was later unblocked.
In an editorial, the Global Times — a newspaper owned by the People’s Daily group that often takes a nationalistic tone — said Tsai’s assumption of power heralded “a new era for a cross-strait region that is characterized by uncertainty.”
DPP rule will make Taiwan “take a larger step away from the mainland politically,” it said. “Certain people are still holding on to the fantasy that ‘soft independence’ might be workable.”
“Perhaps a new round of contention is inevitable to completely drive the topic of Taiwan independence away,” it added.
Beijing has been sending assertive messages across the Taiwan Strait since Tsai was elected. It has warned against any attempt to formally declare independence and the Chinese military has mounted at least three landing exercises in the country’s southeast this month — widely seen as a threat to Tsai not to rock the boat.
BUSY DAY: The same day the USS ‘Barry’ passed through the Strait, Taiwan was ending its Han Kuang military exercises, while China said it conducted an exercise near Taiwan A US Navy ship on Friday sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the ninth time a US military vessel has transited the Strait since US President Joe Biden took office in January. The USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “routine” transit through the Strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the journey through international waters was conducted “in accordance with international law.” “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.” The Ministry
BIOLOGICAL AGENT: A containment exercise was held in southern Tainan, in response to a mock assault where troops were assumed to be attacked by bioweapons The live-fire component of this year’s annual Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan’s major war games involving all military branches, began yesterday morning and is to run until Friday to test the armed forces’ capability to fend off a Chinese invasion. The 37th edition of the annual event officially began after the Ministry of National Defense’s Joint Operations Command Center, also known as the Hengshan Command Center, announced the initiation of the five-day live-fire drills. Yesterday’s drills were focused on testing the military’s preservation and maintenance of combat capabilities in the event of a full-scale Chinese invasion. As part of the drills, air force
WELCOME BACK: Foreign spouses or minor children of Taiwanese can now directly apply for a visa with representative offices overseas, the CECC said Regulations on applications for entry to the nation by foreign spouses or minor children of Taiwanese have been relaxed effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported two new local and three imported cases of COVID-19. Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the center, said the relaxation meant that such applications would be treated as general cases, instead of special ones that are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. “Considering the recent local COVID-19 situation and the needs of foreign spouses and children to visit their family in Taiwan, we are allowing Taiwan’s
PINGTUNG EXERCISE: The pilots tested their ability to land on the 24m-wide provincial highway, preparing for a scenario in which dedicated airstrips are damaged Emergency landing and takeoff drills for military aircraft were held on a provincial highway for the first time early yesterday as part of Taiwan’s Han Kuang military exercises, testing the ability of pilots and aircraft to land on narrow roads were airstrips to be damaged. The drill began at 6:30am on a 2.26km section of Provincial Highway No. 1 linking Pingtung County’s Jiadong (佳冬) and Fangliao (枋寮) townships. An Indigenous Defense Fighter, an F-16V, a Mirage 2000-5 and an E-2K early warning aircraft participated. The planes landed on the highway in that order at 6:30am, 6:32am, 6:34am and 6:36am before taking off at