China dismisses President Tsai’s call for ‘meaningful talks’

An unidentified Chinese aircraft is spotted across the air defense zone on Saturday, the 8th time this month. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Chinese authorities rebuffed on Saturday President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) call for “meaningful talks,” dampening down expectations for a de-escalation of military tensions.

“The fundamental reason for the tension in cross-strait relations is that the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) authorities… interfere with and obstruct cross-strait exchanges and cooperation, promote a series of ‘independence’ actions, and link up with external forces for provocations,” Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮), spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said in a statement.

“Seeking ‘Taiwan independence’ will lead to a dead end… Return to the right track of the political foundation of the ‘92 Consensus’, and the two sides can restart dialogue and consultation,” she said.

The Tsai administration rejects the 1992 consensus, which is based on the “one China, different interpretations” principle.

Cross-strait tensions have risen in recent years, but concerns have mounted lately, with heightened military activity in the area and the visit of two high-level American officials to Taiwan.

Chinese jets have repeatedly buzzed close to the island, including over the sensitive median line that serves as Taiwan’s buffer zone.

The Ministry of National Defense (國防部) said Chinese jets on Saturday entered the island’s air defense zone for the eighth time this month and for the fifth consecutive day last week.

President Tsai Ing-wen on Saturday pledged that Taiwan would work to lower the risk of military conflict, while also highlighting the preparedness of the Taiwanese military.

“In order to avoid potential conflicts due to miscalculations or accidents, we will address threats to regional peace and stability by upholding our principle of neither fearing nor seeking war,” she said.

“We are committed to upholding cross-strait stability, but this is not something Taiwan can shoulder alone; it is the joint responsibility of both sides,” she said.