U.S. actions impacting cross-strait relations: Chinese academic

China still prefers peaceful unification with Taiwan based on the belief that "Chinese don't fight Chinese.", vice president of Shanghai Institute for Public Relations said.

Shanghai, Sep.1-Cross-strait ties could further worsen due to the growing involvement of the United States and China should have probably assessed such a possibility, said a Chinese scholar in a recent interview with CNA.

“With growing U.S. involvement that seeks to turn cross-strait matters into international issues, mainland China has not ruled out the possibility of deteriorating cross-strait relations,” Li Mi (李秘), vice president of Shanghai Institute for Public Relations, told CNA.

For instance, he said, reports about Washington sending U.S. marines to its mission in Taipei and those about the Taiwan Travel Act and National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019 are evidence that the U.S. has become directly involved in China-Taiwan

Moreover, cross-strait relations will be further undermined, regardless of which side emerges victorious from the competition between China and the U.S., he said.

Taking the example of the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, Li said the confidence of Chinese people will be dramatically lifted if China wins, which will accelerate Beijing’s pursuit of unification with Taiwan.

On the other hand, if China loses the focus will be shifted to Taiwan and similarly increase Beijing’s determination to accelerate unification with Taiwan, he said.

“That will be a very difficult situation for those who seek to maintain the status quo across the Taiwan strait,” he said.

However, Li also said China still prefers peaceful unification with Taiwan based on the belief that “Chinese don’t fight Chinese.”

China will not push for unification with Taiwan just for the sake of unification, he said. “Rather China hopes to build a system to achieve peaceful unification between the two sides in concert with its growing ascendancy in politics and economics.”