China warns Taiwan it won't tolerate separatist activities

By Reuters/Ben Blanchard   March 5, 2018 | 08:58 am GMT+7
China warns Taiwan it won't tolerate separatist activities
A woman rides a bike past Taiwan and China national flags during a rally held in Taipei, Taiwan, May 14, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Tyrone Siu

'We will remain firm in safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.'

China will never tolerate any separatist schemes for self-ruled Taiwan and will safeguard China's territorial integrity, according to prepared remarks by Premier Li Keqiang at the opening of China's annual meeting of parliament on Monday.

China has been infuriated over a U.S. bill that seeks to raise official contacts between Washington and Taipei, telling Taiwan on Friday it would only get burnt if it sought to rely on foreigners, adding to the warnings from state media about the risk of war.

The legislation, which only needs President Donald Trump's signature to become law, says it should be U.S. policy to allow officials at all levels to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts, permit high-level Taiwanese officials to enter the United States "under respectful conditions" and meet with U.S. officials.

Li will say that China will promote the peaceful growth of relations across the Taiwan Strait and "advance China's peaceful reunification".

"We will remain firm in safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and will never tolerate any separatist schemes or activities for Taiwan independence," Li will say.

China's hostility towards Taiwan has risen since the election to president of Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party in 2016.

China suspects Tsai wants to push for formal independence, which would cross a red line for Communist Party leaders in Beijing, though Tsai has said she wants to maintain the status quo and is committed to ensuring peace.

Beijing considers democratic Taiwan to be a wayward province and integral part of "one China", ineligible for state-to-state relations, and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

Hong Kong has been another troublesome area for China's leadership, especially after students organized weeks of protests in late 2014 to push for full democracy.

China will also continue to implement to the letter and in spirit the "one country, two systems" method of rule for the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau, Li will say.

Tags: China Taiwan
 
 
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