‘Taiwan will never become a country,’ says Beijing

Beijing, Feb 8 (EFE).- Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Wednesday that Taiwan will never become a country and warned against engaging in independence “separatism.”

“Taiwan has never been a country, and it will never become one,” said spokeswoman Zhu Fengliang in a press conference.

“Engaging in ‘Taiwan independence’ separatism goes against the trend of historical development, goes against the will of all Chinese people, and seriously damages the interests of compatriots on both sides of the strait.”

Last month, the new leader of the island’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party, Lai Ching-te, said Taiwan “already an independent and sovereign nation and thus we do not have a need to further declare Taiwan independence.”

President Tsai Ing-wen had submitted her resignation as the party’s president in November, shortly after a poor result in local elections.

The vice president of opposition party Kuomintang (KMT), Andrew Hsia, will visit Beijing this week.

The party, which denies being pro-Beijing, has advocated closer ties with China in recent years and defends the importance of keeping lines of communication open.

Taiwan has been governed autonomously under the official name of the Republic of China since 1949, when the KMT nationalists retreated there after losing the Chinese civil war against the communists, so Beijing continues to consider it a rebel province and claims its sovereignty.

Tensions between Taipei and Beijing intensified last summer after the visit of then US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which outraged the Chinese authorities. EFE


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