Tai­wan, Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence ruled out

New Straits Times - - World -

China will firmly op­pose Tai­wan “sep­a­ratism”, Premier Li Ke­qiang de­clared yes­ter­day and said Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence moves would “lead nowhere”.

“We will res­o­lutely op­pose and con­tain sep­a­ratist ac­tiv­i­ties for Tai­wan in­de­pen­dence,” Li said at the an­nual ses­sion of China’s Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress.

“We will never tol­er­ate any ac­tiv­ity, in any form or name, which at­tempts to sep­a­rate Tai­wan from the moth­er­land.”

Trump raised eye­brows fol­low­ing his elec­tion vic­tory with a pro­to­col-bust­ing tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion with Tai­wan’s Pres­i­dent Tsai Ing-wen.

He later threw doubt on the “One China” pol­icy – a tacit ac­knowl­edge­ment of China’s claim to the self-ruled is­land – sug­gest­ing that the decades-old diplo­matic for­mu­la­tion was up for ne­go­ti­a­tion, which drew protests from China.

Li, how­ever, ex­tended the usual olive branch across the Tai­wan Strait, say­ing China would con­tinue ef­forts to in­crease links with the is­land, which have in­cluded ris­ing cross-strait in­vest­ment, daily di­rect flights and in­creased tourism be­tween the two ter­ri­to­ries.

“Peo­ple on both sides of the Tai­wan Strait should keep in mind the greater in­ter­ests of the na­tion”, and work to­wards the “re­uni­fi­ca­tion of China”, he said.

Li shut down any hope of Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence.

“The no­tion of Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence will lead nowhere,” he said.

The 10-day NPC ses­sion ends on March 15.

REUTERS PIC

Premier Li Ke­qiang bow­ing be­fore de­liv­er­ing a gov­ern­ment work re­port dur­ing the open­ing ses­sion of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing yes­ter­day.

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