China blames Taiwan for suspended communications channel

BEIJING (TIP): China said on August 18 that the suspension of a communication channel with Taiwan would have a large impact on relations between the two sides, but blamed the self-ruled island for the breakdown.

China said in June that it had stopped a communication mechanism with Taiwan because of the refusal of the island’s new government to recognise the “one China” principle.

China, which regards Taiwan as wayward province, is deeply suspicious of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who took office in May, as it suspects she will push for formal independence.

Tsai, who heads the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, says she wants to maintain the status quo with China and is committed to ensuring peace.

“The two sides currently cannot engage in talks on new issues, or come to new agreements. This is inconvenient for handling some sensitive cross-Strait issues,” Zhang Zhijun, the head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said, according to the state-run China News Service, referring to the narrow stretch of water between the island and the mainland.

“But the responsibility for this does not lie with mainland,” Zhang told reporters in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, according to the news agency.

Zhang said that economic cooperation had not ceased and that he hoped cultural and youth exchanges would not be affected by politics.

China has insisted Tsai recognise the “1992 consensus” reached between China’s Communists and Taiwan’s then-ruling Nationalists, under which both agreed there is only one China, with each having their own interpretation of what that means.

The regular communication mechanism had been ushered in following a rapid improvement of ties under the rule of Taiwan’s then-president Ma Ying-jeou, who took office in 2008 and signed a series of landmark trade and tourism deals with China.

Defeated Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan after a civil war with the Communists in 1949, which has never formally ended. China has also never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control. (PTI)


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