Beijing has said that anyone seeking to keep Taiwan separate from China would “leave a stink for 10,000 years” in its strongest remarks since the re-election of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who opposes unification with China.
On Monday, while on a tour in Africa, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) said: “The unification of the two sides of the [Taiwan] Strait is a historical inevitability,” the official Xinhua news agency reported.
He described those going against this trend as bound to “stink for 10,000 years,” an idiom to say one will “go down in infamy.”
Tsai’s landslide electoral victory on Saturday has been embarrassing for China, where state media spent most of the past year isolating Taiwan on the diplomatic stage, deriding Tsai and highlighting the popularity of her opponent, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which is pro-China.
Her win, after a campaign that leaned heavily on Hong Kong as a cautionary tale for Taiwan, is widely seen as a repudiation of Beijing’s attempts to draw Taiwan into its fold through military intimidation, economic incentives, cultural exchanges and other means.
Beijing has sought to downplay the election results, which also saw the Democratic Progressive Party maintain its majority in the legislature, giving Tsai’s administration a stronger mandate over the next four years.
In an editorial on Sunday, Xinhua said Tsai’s party had used “dirty tactics,” including fake news, repression and intimidation.
Chinese commentators said Tsai had “won by fear,” while the Global Times blamed infighting within the KMT.
“Yet no matter how much uncertainty there is across the Strait, the fact that the Chinese mainland is getting increasingly stronger and the Taiwan island is getting weaker is an inevitable reality,” an editorial late on Saturday said.
This week, authorities have tried to highlight the struggles Taiwanese would suffer under the DPP.
Yesterday, the international version of the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), criticized the DPP for focusing on politics rather than Taiwan’s struggling economy, a common argument made by Beijing and pro-China groups in Taiwan that closer ties would help wage and job growth.
“The people of Taiwan must tighten their belts and continue to live a hard life,” the paper said.
State media have also accused “external dark forces,” such as the US, an ally of Taiwan’s, of having a hand in the election.
Experts have said China is likely to double down on its strategy of punishing Taiwan.
During Tsai’s first term, Beijing cut off a dialogue mechanism, independent travel to Taiwan, and persuaded several of Taiwan’s few remaining allies to switch diplomatic recognition.
In her victory speech on Saturday, Tsai said that she was committed to maintaining peaceful cross-strait relations, but said it was a responsibility to be borne by “both sides.”
“China must abandon threats of force against Taiwan,” she said. “Democratic Taiwan and our democratically elected government will not concede to threats and intimidation.”
Vaccines that protect against severe illness, death and lingering long COVID-19 symptoms from a SARS-CoV-2 infection were linked to small increases in neurological, blood and heart-related conditions in the largest global vaccine safety study to date. The rare events — identified early in the pandemic — included a higher risk of heart-related inflammation from mRNA shots made by Pfizer Inc, BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc, and an increased risk of a type of blood clot in the brain after immunization with viral-vector vaccines such as the one developed by the University of Oxford and made by AstraZeneca PLC. The viral-vector jabs were
A steam of sweat rose as hundreds of naked men tussled over a bag of wooden talismans, performing a dramatic end to a thousand-year-old ritual in Japan that took place for the last time. Their passionate chants of “jasso, joyasa” (“evil, be gone”) echoed through a ceder forest in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture, where the secluded Kokuseki Temple is ending the popular annual rite. Organizing the event, which draws hundreds of participants and thousands of tourists every year, has become a heavy burden for the aging local faithful, who find it hard to keep up with the rigors of the ritual. The Sominsai festival,
COLLECTIVE ACTION: Over 150 trainee doctors quit over the government’s plan to increase medical school admissions by 2,000 students next school year The South Korean government yesterday warned that trainee doctors were putting public health at risk after more than 150 tendered their resignations to protest a government plan to admit more students to medical schools. The South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare said it had issued a back-to-work order to the 154 doctors at seven hospitals, warning that refusing to comply would result in punishment. The government plans to raise medical school admissions by 2,000 students for the 2025 academic year and to add 10,000 doctors by 2035. Currently, about 3,000 students enter medical schools each year. The plan has drawn intense protests
‘PUTIN IS RESPONSIBLE’: Authorities detained more than 100 people in Russia, as mourners remembered the opposition leader outside embassies around the world Floral tributes to Alexei Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest foe who died on Friday in a Russian penal colony, were removed overnight by groups of unidentified people while police watched, videos on Russian social media show. More than 100 people were detained in eight cities across Russia after they came to lay flowers in memory of Navalny, said OVD-Info, a group that monitors political repression in Russia. Yesterday, police blocked access to a memorial in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk and detained several people there as well as in another Siberian city, Surgut, OVD-Info said. Video footage shared on social media