TAIPEI (The China Post) — China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) responded to President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) call for coexistence on Wednesday, saying that Beijing would stick to “one country, two systems” and “not leave any space for Taiwan independence separatist activities.”
“Reunification is a historical inevitability of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” TAO Spokesman Ma Xiaoguang said in a statement. “We have the firm will, full confidence, and sufficient ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added.
Earlier in the day, President Tsai Ing-wen said that Taiwan cannot accept becoming part of China under its “one country, two systems” framework in a strong rejection of China’s sovereignty claim, but called for talks so that both sides could “coexist.”
In a speech after her inauguration ceremony, Tsai said relations between Taiwan and China had reached a historical turning point in which “both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term and prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences.”
“Here, I want to reiterate the words ‘peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue’. We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo. We stand fast by this principle,” Tsai added.
China refers to the “one country, two systems” policy that supposedly guarantees a high degree of autonomy to run the former British colony of Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997. It has offered it to Taiwan, though all major Taiwanese parties have rejected it.