China says quest for independent Taiwan would ‘signify war’

Beijing, Nov 15 (EFE).- The pursuit of Taiwan independence would signify “war,” a spokesperson for Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Wednesday.

Zhu Fenglian was responding to comments by the presidential candidate of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Lai Ching-te (also known as William Lai), who denied last week that his election could heighten the risk of a war with China.

“The pursuit of ‘Taiwan independence’ signifies war,” Zhu said at a press conference Wednesday, according to China’s state news agency Xinhua.

“People who pursue ‘Taiwan independence’ are essentially instigators of war, and it is rascally to tell a lie like this.”

The spokesperson also noted speculation in Taiwanese media about a possible request from United States for China not to interfere in the Taiwan election, on the same day that the presidents of both nations, Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, meet in San Francisco on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum.

The official expressed the expectation that the US “will earnestly abide by the One-China principle, honor its solemn political commitment to China and implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state.”

Zhu also slammed the DPP over what it said were double-standards regarding the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, a cross-border pact designed to reduce trade barriers.

She said despite claiming not to want to end the pact, the DPP’s stance has “caused uncertainties” in implementing it, “directly harming the interests of the compatriots in Taiwan.”

Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan, which it considers a rebel territory with which it has not ruled out the use of force to achieve reunification.

The self-governed island is one of the main reasons for friction between China and the US, since the North American country is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and would defend it in the event of a conflict. EFE


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