As Taiwan changes leader, Beijing urges ‘one-China’
China’s foreign ministry has urged the international community to continue to abide by its one-China principle, following a victory in Taiwan’s elections for a party which has traditionally taken a pro-independence stance in its relations with Beijing.
State news agency Xinhua quoted Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei as saying that Beijing believes that the community would adhere to the principle that insists both Taiwan and the mainland are inalienable parts of a single “China”.
“We hope and believe that the international community will adhere to the one-China principle, oppose ‘Taiwan independence’ in any form and support peaceful development of cross-Strait relations through concrete actions,” Hong said.
The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) defeated the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party in Saturday’s vote — in doing so its candidate for the presidency — its chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen — becoming the territory’s first female leader.
It was the first time the pro-China KMT — which had controlled the government for eight years — has lost control of the island’s legislature — the DPP taking 68 of the 113 seats in Taiwan’s parliament compared to the KMT’s 35.
Whereas the DPP has not historically recognised the “one China” policy, KMT’s outgoing government had overseen an improvement in ties.
Beijing spokesperson Hong said that the result of the election would not change the basic fact or consensus of the international community.
“The Taiwan question falls in China’s internal affairs. There is only one China in the world, and both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China,” he said, adding that China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division.
Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported Saturday that Tsai Ing-wen had won the presidency with 56.1 percent of the vote.
In a post-election news conference, she underlined Taiwan’s commitment to democracy, calling it a value “deeply engrained in the Taiwanese people.”
Tsai also acknowledged the difficult relationship with Beijing, saying both China and Taiwan “have a responsibility to do their utmost to find mutually acceptable ways to interact… and ensure no provocation and no surprises.”