Taiwan president wishes China happy new year, gets warm response


Reuters Staff February 15, 2018

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen wished “friends” in China a happy Lunar New Year on Thursday, drawing a surprisingly warm reaction from Chinese state media which is more used to disparaging her as a dangerous separatist

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during the end-of-year news conference in Taipei, Taiwan December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Hamacher

Taiwan is one of China’s most sensitive issues and a potentially dangerous military flashpoint. China considers the self-ruled island its sacred territory and a wayward province and it has never renounced the use of force to bring it under Chinese control.

China has become increasingly hostile to Taiwan since Tsai, from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, won election in 2016, believing she wants to push for the island’s formal independence, a red line for China.

In a video message to mark Chinese New Year, which falls on Friday, Tsai said the festival was an important one for people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait as they share many of the same traditions.

“Through people-to-people exchanges and media broadcasts, this has narrowed the psychological gap between both sides,” Tsai said.

“I want to use this opportunity to send new year’s greetings to friends on the other side (of the Taiwan Strait) and ethnic Chinese in other parts of the world.”

China’s state-run Global Times, known for its stridently nationalistic stance and which often calls the island’s president “provincial governor Tsai”, said it would normally criticize her, but in this case would reciprocate the goodwill.

“If Tsai Ing-wen really wants to use the Spring Festival to show goodwill, of course we welcome it,” it said on its website, using another name for the holiday.

Underscoring China’s continued suspicion though, the Global Times also posted a screenshot of disparaging comments – one extremely vulgar – made by people on Facebook responding to Tsai’s greeting. Facebook is blocked in China.

Tsai, in her message, also expressed condolences to the families of nine Chinese tourists killed in an earthquake in Taiwan last week.

“As I have said, on humanitarian relief there is no distance between the two sides of the strait.”

However, the run-up to the new year was marked by more bickering between Beijing and Taipei.

This week, Taiwan accused China of insensitivity by announcing that Papua New Guinea had downgraded its relations with the island while Taiwan was still dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake.[nL4N1Q24C2]

Taiwan and China have also traded accusations about China opening a new route for civil aircraft over the Taiwan Strait, which Taiwan says could affect flight safety.[nL4N1PQ2LV]

Reporting by Fabian Hamacher; Writing and additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Robert Birsel

Source: Reuters “Taiwan president wishes China happy new year, gets warm response”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

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Taiwan Plays into China’s Hands


China is wise to follow Deng Xiaoping’s instruction on giving priority to economic development. When it has attained the goal of building China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by the middle of the century, there will be no problems of US containment, even less Taiwan independence.

The US lays its hope to make China unable to attain its ambitious goal mainly on:
1. China’s domestic disturbance caused mainly by dissents for Western democracy, press freedom, human rights, etc.

China counters that with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics on a New Year to infuse self-confidence in China’s path, system, theory and culture.

It regards Western, especially American efforts to spread Western democracy and values such as press freedom and human rights as measures to subvert Chinese government. It, therefore, adopts harsh measures to suppress dissents. 709 crackdown was a typical example.

2. Riots for independence in Tibet, Xinjiang, etc., especially the Islamic terrorist attacks that may give rise to panic throughout China.

That is why the US media supports Uygur separatists and describes Uygur terrorist attacks as something caused by Uygurs’ opposition to Chinese government’s restriction to their religious freedom.

Taiwan independence may trigger such Chinese ethnic minority’s riots so that China absolutely disallows that. The situation now is that Taiwanese government is entirely unable to openly advocate independence due to lack of US support. If China takes Taiwan by force, the US may be involved but the US does not have any vital interests in Taiwan to justify a war for Taiwan against China.

Though China is now strong enough to take Taiwan by force and though it is not likely that the US will fight a war with China for Taiwan, Chinese leaders shall be wise not to choose a military solution to the Taiwan issue as wise economic approaches are quite sufficient.

In addition, economic approaches work well due to the stupidity of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Chinese air force has carried out lots of patrols around Taiwan to give the false impression that China is making preparations for taking Taiwan by force. According to Reuters’ report yesterday titled “Taiwan president warns China against military aggression”, Tsai believes that China is going to take Taiwan by force so that she warns China against military aggression.

What she says on the military tension precisely plays into China’s hands. She makes Taiwanese and foreign businessmen scared so that they dare not invest in Taiwan. Without injection of investments how can she reinvigorate Taiwan’s sagging economy?

Moreover, she is stupid to increase Taiwan’s purchases of weapons for possible resistance against Chinese troops. She simply lacks the common sense that Taiwan cannot afford an arms race with China. She is depriving Taiwan of its limited financial resources for improvement of its economy.

As a result she will be replaced by a pro-Beijing president. When that has happened, China will resume its preferential treatment to win over Taiwan. That is China’s carrot and stick approach. It will be much better than a military approach.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-president/taiwan-president-warns-china-against-military-aggression-idUSKBN1EN0JU.


China says Taiwan remarks on dissident Liu ‘very dangerous’


Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen poses for photographs during an interview with Reuters at the Presidential Office in Taipei, Taiwan April 27, 2017.Tyrone Siu/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) – China accused Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen of aggravating tension across the Taiwan Strait on Friday, citing her comments following the death of Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo as an example of “repeated arbitrary attacks”.

Tsai said on Thursday that the self-ruled island hoped China could show self-confidence and promote political reform, after the dissident Liu died of cancer.

“Only through democracy, in which every Chinese person has freedom and respect, can China truly become a proud and important country,” she said.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, was quoted by the official Xinhua news agency as saying that such “reckless” comments were “very dangerous” for cross-strait relations.

Liu, who died aged 61, was sentenced to 11 years jail in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power” after he helped write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for sweeping political reforms.

Reiterating the Chinese government’s line, Ma said Liu was sentenced due to violating the law and that “China made all-out efforts to treat him humanely in accordance with the law”.

Beijing distrusts Tsai and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) because it traditionally advocates independence for Taiwan. Beijing says the island is part of China and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.

Ma said Tsai and the DPP had “lifted the deceptive veil” of maintaining the status quo in cross-strait relations and that the repeated attacks were an attempt to pull ties back to “tensity and turbulence”.

“Such behavior is very dangerous,” he said, according to the Xinhua report, which was carried only in English.

China has bristled previously at Tsai’s comments on China’s political system.

In June, it issued an angry response when Tsai offered to help China transition to democracy while marking the 28th anniversary of 1989’s violent suppression of pro-democracy protests in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Reporting by Philip Wen; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Ben Blanchard

Source: Reuters “China says Taiwan remarks on dissident Liu ‘very dangerous’”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Count Your Wallet before You Bet


Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari greets China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (C) and Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Zhou Pingjian during their visit to the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria January 11, 2017. REUTERS/ Stringer

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari greets China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi (C) and Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Zhou Pingjian during their visit to the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria January 11, 2017. REUTERS/ Stringer

In its report “Nigeria trims ties with Taiwan as it courts China”, Reuters says, “Taiwan objected on Thursday to an ‘unreasonable’ Nigerian request to move its representative office out of the capital Abuja, a day after China announced plans to invest a further $40 billion in the African country.”

Obviously, China is using its huge financial resources to put diplomatic pressure on Taiwan.

Reasonable or unreasonable, China has the financial resources to do so while Taiwan does not have the financial resources to fight back.

US president-elect Donald Trump seems willing to help Taiwan, but being heavily in debt, does the US has the resources to counter that?

Count your wallet before you bet!

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which is reblogged below:

Nigeria trims ties with Taiwan as it courts China

Taiwan objected on Thursday to an “unreasonable” Nigerian request to move its representative office out of the capital Abuja, a day after China announced plans to invest a further $40 billion in the African country.

The protest highlighted Taiwan’s frustration with Beijing’s use of diplomatic and economic power to isolate it internationally. Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it had been asked to move the office, which handles business affairs, to the former capital Lagos.

It urged Nigeria to reconsider, saying: “The foreign ministry seriously objects and condemns the unreasonable actions by the Nigerian government.”

Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province, ineligible for state-to-state relations and to be taken back by force if necessary. The sensitivity of the issue was underlined last month when China protested after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump accepted a congratulatory phone call from the president of the island.

On Wednesday, after meeting his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Abuja, Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama was quoted by state news agency NAN as saying: “Taiwan will not have any diplomatic representation in Nigeria and also they will be moving to Lagos, to the extent that they function as a trade mission with a skeletal staff.”

NAN quoted Wang as saying China planned to invest $40 billion in Nigeria, in addition to current projects already worth more than that amount.

A statement on the Chinese foreign ministry’s website said the two sides had agreed to stick to Beijing’s “one China” policy, that Taiwan is a part of China.

Nigeria’s presidency issued a statement on Thursday in which it said media reports that Nigeria had cut ties with Taiwan were incorrect.

“The correct position is that the official relationship between Nigeria and Taiwan has been at the level of trade representation and this has not changed from what it used to be,” said a statement by the president’s spokesman, Garba Shehu.

The emailed statement did not refer to Taiwan being asked to move its Abuja office.

Taiwan has 21 formal allies, only two in Africa. Last month, former African ally Sao Tome switched its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China.

In countries with which Taiwan has no formal diplomatic relations it often sets up trade and commerce offices, in capitals and major cities.

While economic ties between the mainland and Taiwan have grown considerably in recent years, their relations have worsened since Tsai Ing-wen, who heads a pro-independence party, was elected president of the island last year.

(Reporting by Damon Lin and J.R. Wu; Additional reporting by Paul Carsten and Felix Onuah in Abuja; Editing by Ralph Boulton)

Note: This is Reuters report I reblog here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Chinese state tabloid warns Trump, end one China policy and China will take revenge


By Brenda Goh and J.R. Wu | SHANGHAI/TAIPEI Mon Jan 9, 2017 | 10:25am EST

State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that China would “take revenge” if he reneged on the one-China policy, only hours after Taiwan’s president made a controversial stopover in Houston.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met senior U.S. Republican lawmakers during her stopover in Houston on Sunday en route to Central America, where she will visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. Tsai will stop in San Francisco on Jan. 13, her way back to Taiwan.

China had asked the United States not to allow Tsai to enter or have formal government meetings under the one China policy.

Beijing considers self-governing Taiwan a renegade province ineligible for state-to-state relations. The subject is a sensitive one for China.

A photograph tweeted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott shows him meeting Tsai, with a small table between them adorned with the U.S., Texas and Taiwanese flags. Tsai’s office said on Monday she also spoke by telephone with U.S. senator John McCain, head of the powerful Senate Committee on Armed Services. Tsai also met Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

“Sticking to (the one China) principle is not a capricious request by China upon U.S. presidents, but an obligation of U.S. presidents to maintain China-U.S. relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific,” said the Global Times editorial on Sunday. The influential tabloid is published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.

Trump triggered protests from Beijing last month by accepting a congratulatory telephone call from Tsai and questioning the U.S. commitment to China’s position that Taiwan is part of one China.

“If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining,” said the Global Times.

Cruz said some members of Congress had received a letter from the Chinese consulate asking them not to meet Tsai during her stopovers.

“The People’s Republic of China needs to understand that in America we make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves,” Cruz said in a statement. “This is not about the PRC. This is about the U.S. relationship with Taiwan, an ally we are legally bound to defend.”

Cruz said he and Tsai discussed upgrading bilateral relations and furthering economic cooperation between their countries, including increased access to Taiwan markets that would benefit Texas ranchers, farmers and small businesses.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Monday urged “relevant U.S. officials” to handle the Taiwan issue appropriately to avoid harming China-U.S. ties.

“We firmly oppose leaders of the Taiwan region, on the so-called basis of a transit visit, having any form of contact with U.S. officials and engaging in activities that interfere with and damage China-U.S. relations,” Lu said.

In a dinner speech Saturday to hundreds of overseas Taiwanese, Tsai said the United States holds a “special place in the hearts of the people of Taiwan” and that the island via bilateral exchanges has provided more than 320,000 jobs directly and indirectly to the American people, her office said on Monday.

Tsai said Taiwan looked to create more U.S. jobs through deeper investment, trade and procurement.

Tsai’s office said James Moriarty, chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, which handles U.S.-Taiwan affairs in the absence of formal ties, told the Taiwan president in Houston that the United States was continuing efforts to persuade China to resume dialogue with Taiwan.

China is deeply suspicious of Tsai, who it thinks wants to push for the formal independence of the island.

The Global Times, whose stance does not equate with government policy, also targeted Tsai in the editorial, saying that the mainland would likely impose further diplomatic, economic and military pressure on Taiwan, warning that “Tsai needs to face the consequences for every provocative step she takes”.

“It should also impose military pressure on Taiwan and push it to the edge of being reunified by force, so as to effectively affect the approval rating of the Tsai administration.”

(Reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai, J.R. Wu in Taipei, and Michael Martina in Beijing; Editing by Michael Perry, Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters “Chinese state tabloid warns Trump, end one China policy and China will take revenge”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China’s Xi says won’t let anyone make ‘fuss’ about its territory


A picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on a billboard behind soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army marching during a training session for a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, at a military base in Beijing, China, August 22, 2015. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on a billboard behind soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army marching during a training session for a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, at a military base in Beijing, China, August 22, 2015. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

China will never allow anyone to “make a great fuss” about its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, President Xi Jinping said in his New Year’s address, while China’s top official in charge of Taiwan ties warned of risk ahead in 2017.

China’s increasingly assertive moves to push its territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea, including building artificial islands, has unnerved its neighbors.

“We adhere to peaceful development, and resolutely safeguard our territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests,” Xi said, in comments carried by state media late on Saturday.

“Chinese people will never allow anyone to get away with making a great fuss about it,” he said, without elaborating.

China claims most of the South China Sea. Neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

While Xi made no direct mention of self-ruled Taiwan, aside from extending New Year’s greetings to them, the head of China’s policy-making Taiwan Affairs Office in his New Year’s message said that 2017 would see uncertainty.

“Looking ahead to 2017, the situation in the Taiwan Strait is complex and serious, and the development of relations are facing many uncertain factors and risk,” Zhang Zhijun said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

China hopes that people on both sides can show resolve and courage, to ensure the “correct direction” of the peaceful development of ties and work to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, he added.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Saturday that Taiwan will be “calm” when dealing with China, but uncertainties in 2017 will test the island and its national security team, even as she recommitted to maintaining peace.

China is deeply suspicious of Tsai, who it thinks wants to push for the formal independence of Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing regards as a renegade province.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump angered China last month when he spoke to Tsai in a break with decades of precedent and cast doubt on his incoming administration’s commitment to Beijing’s “one China” policy.

China’s military has become alarmed by what it sees as Trump’s support of Taiwan and is considering strong measures to prevent the island from moving toward independence, sources with ties to senior military officers said.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry)

Source: “China’s Xi says won’t let anyone make ‘fuss’ about its territory”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Taiwan announces U.S. itinerary for president, upsetting China


Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen waves her hand as she boards the nation's first domestically built Tuo Jiang twin-hull stealth missile corvette at Suao Naval Base in Yilan, Taiwan June 4, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen waves her hand as she boards the nation’s first domestically built Tuo Jiang twin-hull stealth missile corvette at Suao Naval Base in Yilan, Taiwan June 4, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

By J.R. Wu | TAIPEI Fri Dec 30, 2016 | 6:29pm EST

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will transit through Houston and San Francisco during a January visit to allies in Latin America, her office said Friday, prompting China to repeat a call for the United States to block any such stopover.

Tsai’s office declined to comment on whether she would be meeting members of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s team, but the U.S. mission in Taiwan, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), said the visit would be “private and unofficial”.

Trump angered China when he spoke to Tsai this month in a break with decades of precedent and cast doubt on his incoming administration’s commitment to Beijing’s “one China” policy.

An adviser to Trump’s transition team said he thought “further high-level engagement for the foreseeable future is unlikely” when asked if any meetings were planned. The adviser did not want to be identified by name.

China is deeply suspicious of Tsai, who it thinks wants to push for the formal independence of Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing regards as a renegade province, ineligible for state-to-state relations.

China’s Foreign Ministry repeated a previous call for the United States not to allow the transit and not send any “wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces”.

“We think everyone is very clear on her real intentions,” the ministry said, without explaining.

The United States, which switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, has acknowledged the Chinese position that there is only “one China” and that Taiwan is part of it.

Tsai is transiting through the United States on her way to and from visiting Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. She will leave Taiwan on Jan. 7 and return on Jan. 15.

Tsai will arrive in Houston on Jan. 7 and leave the following day. On her return, she will arrive in San Francisco on Jan. 13, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang told a regular news briefing.

The AIT said the transit did not contradict the “one China” policy.

“President Tsai’s transit through the United States is based on long-standing U.S. practice and is consistent with the unofficial nature of our relations with Taiwan,” Alys Spensley, acting AIT spokeswoman, told Reuters.

“There is no change to the U.S. ‘one China’ policy,” she added.

Spensley said Tsai’s transits would be “private and unofficial”. The U.S. State Department said AIT chairman Ambassador James Moriarty would greet Tsai in Houston and San Francisco.

China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Communist forces won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists fled to the island.

Speaking to members of China’s largely ceremonial advisory body to parliament on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said next year China would make “unremitting efforts” at unification and developing peaceful relations across the Taiwan Strait, state news agency Xinhua said.

Taiwan had as many as 30 diplomatic allies in the mid-1990s, but now has formal relations with 21, mostly smaller and poorer nations in Latin America and the Pacific and also including the Vatican.

(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Nick Macfie and James Dalgleish)

Source: Reuters “Taiwan announces U.S. itinerary for president, upsetting China”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.