Beijing piling on pressure against Taiwan independence: Council

Beijing piling on pressure against Taiwan independence: Council
"Mainland China has intensified its anti-independence arguments while insisting on the 'One China' principle" since May 20, 2016 when Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen assumed the presidency, the Cabinet-level body's report reads.
PHOTO: Reuters

A Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) report released Sunday paints a bleak outlook for the thawing of the cross-strait freeze.

"Mainland China has intensified its anti-independence arguments while insisting on the 'One China' principle" since May 20, 2016 when Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen assumed the presidency, the Cabinet-level body's report reads.

Relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are in a regressive state at present, it continues.

The report was prepared ahead of a forum hosted by the Legislature's Foreign and National Defence Committee on the changing political environment in East Asia under US President Donald Trump. In the report, MAC states that the Chinese government had instructed state-owned media to portray political developments in Taiwan in a negative light in an effort erode support for the DPP and Taiwanese independence.

China's censoring of topics related to Taiwanese independence had also deepened following Tsai's election, the report says.

It adds that since the election, Beijing had imposed political preconditions on all cross-strait interactions, as well as restricted travel to Taiwan for certain individuals.

On the international stage, Beijing continued to promote its "One China" policy, causing several countries to reiterate their support for the mainland and adding pressure on Taiwan's diplomatic allies.

Regarding the impact of Trump on East Asia, the report says, as the recently inaugurated US president's foreign and national security policies were still being formed and adjusted, the situation in the Asia-Pacific region required close attention.

An unstable Beijing-Washington relationship, it adds, may provide Taiwan with an advantageous position for negotiating regional issues.

The MAC report describes the current cross-strait situation as one of "cold peace." It urges close cross-departmental coordination to address and monitor cross-strait relations and the East Asia political situation under Trump's presidency. MAC adds that it hopes to seek pragmatic improvements in ties with mainland China as well as with the US

In addition to MAC, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Security Bureau will also attend the Foreign and National Defence Committee meeting scheduled for today.

Read also: Taiwan not on radar as US, China face N Korea

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