Tai­wan politi­cians break ranks to meet with Bei­jing

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A GROUP of op­po­si­tion of­fi­cials from Tai­wan has by­passed the govern­ment and trav­elled to China on a bridge­build­ing trip as re­la­tions with Bei­jing turn frosty un­der new pres­i­dent Tsai Ing-wen.

Ob­servers say the meet­ing is a move by China to up the pres­sure on Ms Tsai and an at­tempt to woo a pub­lic wary of closer ties with Bei­jing.

China has sev­ered all of­fi­cial com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Bei­jing scep­tic Ms Tsai and her new Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) govern­ment, which came to power af­ter a land­slide vic­tory in Jan­uary over the Kuom­intang (KMT).

Al­though Tai­wan is self-govern­ing, Bei­jing still sees the is­land as part of its ter­ri­tory to be re­uni­fied.

But Ms Tsai has re­fused to ac­knowl­edge the con­cept that there is only “one China” – a pre­con­di­tion Bei­jing says is nec­es­sary for cross-strait dia­logue to re­sume.

The del­e­ga­tion of eight lo­cal-level chiefs who met a se­nior Bei­jing of­fi­cial on Septem­ber 18 back the one China con­cept.

Fol­low­ing the meet­ing, China promised to pro­mote agri­cul­tural trade, tech­nol­ogy and tourism with those coun­ties that had sent rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Six of the del­e­gates were from the KMT and two were in­de­pen­dents.

Tai­wan’s pres­i­den­tial of­fice was not in­formed in ad­vance of the del­e­ga­tion’s trip, spokesper­son Alex Huang told AFP, adding that prior no­ti­fi­ca­tion is not re­quired by law.

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