Taiwan’s incoming independence-leaning pro-democratic government is creating more contention from mainland China. On Wednesday, Beijing made a bold statement saying the island’s new government “will be to blame for any crisis with China that erupts once it assumes office.”
In what was a pivotal point in Taiwan’s reign, the liberal-thinking Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won presidential and parliamentary elections by a landslide back in January of this year, ousting the long-standing Nationalists from their thrones.
The previous government run by the Nationalists was considerably China-friendly. With that being said, China (People’s Republic of China) and self-ruled Taiwan (Republic of China) had reached somewhat of a reconciliation during that time.
However, Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP hold promise of a more democratic rule in Taiwan. In fact, the DPP’s astonishing victory rested heavily on its anti-China stance.
Tsai’s fast approaching presidency is causing anger in mainland China, straining the already precarious ties between the two. The CCP considers Taiwan a breakaway province, refusing to recognize the island as an independent nation. Beijing has never renounced the use of force to take Taiwan, particularly if it makes moves towards independence, Reuters reports.
Soon-to-be president Tsai, who will take office on May 20, however, has said that she will maintain the status-quo, though has never admitted to a key bilateral agreement referencing the “One China” principle. The “One China” principle was established under the “1992 Consensus” with the Nationalists in which China and Taiwan agreed there is only one China, but each may have their own interpretation of what that means.
With the CCP feeling threatened by the governmental shift in Taiwan, the spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Ma Xiaoguang said it was clear who was “destroying bridges” and trying to change the status-quo.
On a live briefing on state television, Ma said, “If there are those who are unclear on this point, or are offering encouragement from the wings, this is really not a sensible act.”
“We must repeat, if there is deadlock across the Taiwan Strait, or if there is a crisis, the responsibility will be on the heads of those who change the status quo,” Ma went on to say.
China has been placing a tremendous amount of pressure on Taiwan since the monumental election in January, including forcibly repatriating Taiwanese suspected of fraud from Malaysia and Kenya, as well as establishing diplomatic ties with the former ally of Taiwan, the Gambia.