Taiwan condemns ‘fallacious’ Chinese comments on its election and awaits unofficial US visit

Following the day’s presidential and legislative elections on the self-governing island, Taiwan denounced on Sunday what it called “fallacious comments” made by China.

The winner, President-elect Lai Ching-te, had a poor record on verbal sparring and it was unclear how China would interact with the United States or Taiwan.

In a move that is sure to enrage China, the US announced it had invited two former officials to travel to Taiwan this week for discussions with political leaders following the election.

Former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and former Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg will come in Taipei on Monday and hold talks on Tuesday, according to a news release from the American Institute in Taiwan. Because the US does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the institution serves as the de facto US Embassy.

With Lai’s victory, the Democratic Progressive Party will retain the president for a third four-year term, after eight years under President Tsai Ing-wen. China considers the party as its rival and a key impediment to its objective of gaining control of the island of 23 million people.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry released a statement on Saturday night accusing China’s Foreign Ministry and Taiwan Affairs Office of lying in their separate comments following the announcement of the election results.

It especially objected to China’s frequently stated claim that Taiwan is a Chinese domestic matter. China believes Taiwan to be a province gone rogue and claims Taiwan shouldn’t even have an official foreign ministry or diplomatic ties with other countries.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in its statement that “the Taiwan question is China’s internal affair. Whatever changes take place in Taiwan, the basic fact that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China will not change.”

That statement “is completely inconsistent with international understanding and the current cross-strait situation. It goes against the expectation of global democratic communities and goes against the will of the people of Taiwan to uphold democratic values,” the Taiwanese statement said. “Such cliches are not worth refuting.”

Lai, who will take office in May, won a three-way race for president with 40% of the vote, less than the clear majority Tsai won in 2020. Their Democratic Progressive Party lost its majority in the legislature, finishing with one seat fewer than the Kuomintang, or Nationalist Party. Neither holds a majority, giving the Taiwan People’s Party — a relatively new force that won eight of the 113 seats — a possible swing vote on legislation.

The statement from the Taiwan Affairs Office in China said that the results showed that the Democratic Progressive Party does not represent mainstream public opinion on the island.

“Our stance on resolving the Taiwan question and realizing national reunification remains consistent, and our determination is rockvsolid,” Chen Binhua, a spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said in a written statement.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry, in its response, called on China ” to respect the election results, face reality and give up its oppression against Taiwan.”

The Chinese military regularly sends fighter jets and warships into the skies and waters near Taiwan. Any conflict could draw in the United States, which is Taiwan’s main supplier of military equipment for its defense.

Similar Articles

Most Popular