Taiwan won't cave to Beijing threats, says president

- Taiwan president calls for ‘positive exchanges’ with China over next year amid recent tensions over diplomatic moves

Taiwan won't cave to Beijing threats, says president

World Bulletin / News Desk

Taiwan's president has called for “peaceful relations” and “positive exchanges” amid recent tensions with China.

“Over the past few months, it's becoming a common feeling for Taiwanese people that a rational and calm position strenuously kept by both sides has been slightly changed," Tsai Ing-wen said in a year-end briefing Saturday.

Taiwan’s official Central News Agency quoted her as saying that Taipei will continue to commit to having positive exchanges but “will not succumb to pressure and threats”.

Tensions between China and Taiwan -- which Beijing considers a breakaway province -- have been mounting since Tsai’s traditionally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won the January election, securing its first majority in the island’s parliament.

Earlier this month, the African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe -- which had been one of only 22 countries with diplomatic relations with Taiwan -- cut off ties with Taipei and renewed them with Beijing.

Earlier this week, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense expressed concern after China's first aircraft carrier passed south of the island territory and sailed into the disputed South China Sea.

Meanwhile, Tsai’s plan to make two stopovers in the United States during her trip to Nicaragua next month has resulted in China warning the U.S. about adherence to the “One China” policy.

China’s foreign ministry has accused Taiwan of “ulterior political motives” ever since U.S. President-elect Donald Trump broke decades of protocol earlier this month by having a phone conversation with Tsai.

"Beijing has, step by step, backed onto an old track to polarize, pressure and even threaten and intimidate [Taiwan]," Tsai told reporters Saturday.

"We hope that this is not Bejing's adoption of a policy, and want to remind it that such moves have hurt Taiwanese people's feelings and affected stability across the Taiwan Strait," she said, calling on the sides to “share a calm and rational mindset” in working together over the next year.

Since Chinese nationalist leaders fled to Taiwan in 1949 after a brutal civil war with Mao Zedong's Communists, China has seen the region as a breakaway province that will eventually return.

In June, Beijing suspended a communication mechanism with Taipei after Tsai’s party took power in the island territory.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Aralık 2016, 11:57