China cuts official contact with Taiwan over new president

BEIJING: China said Saturday (Jun 25) that communications with Taiwan had been suspended after the island’s new government failed to acknowledge the concept that there is only “one China”.

Relations between the two sides have grown increasingly frosty since President Tsai Ing-wen won Taiwan’s leadership by a landslide in January and took office in May, ending eight years of rapprochement.

“The bilateral communication mechanism has been suspended,” TAO spokesman An Fengshan said on its website.

Although Taiwan is self-ruling after splitting with the mainland in 1949 following a civil war, it has never formally declared independence and Beijing still sees it as part of its territory awaiting reunification.

Beijing is highly suspicious of Tsai, whose Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which replaced the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) party in government, is traditionally pro-independence and has warned her against any attempt at a breakaway.

Beijing said it had cut contact because Taiwan had refused to acknowledge the “1992 consensus” – a tacit agreement made between Chinese officials and the KMT that there is only “one China” but each side is allowed its own interpretation.

But, while Tsai has said she wants to maintain peaceful relations with China, she has not backed the consensus or the “one China” concept.

Her presidential victory tapped into voter fears that Beijing was eroding Taiwan’s sovereignty through closer ties, and that trade agreements with China were being made secretly, benefiting big business, rather than ordinary residents.

Tensions have been exacerbated by recent deportations of Taiwanese fraud suspects from Kenya, Malaysia and Cambodia to Beijing, rather than back to Taiwan.

Taipei accuses Beijing of “abducting” its citizens from countries that do not recognise the island’s government.

The latest round of deportations Friday, which saw 25 fraud suspects deported from Cambodia – a close ally of Beijing – triggered an angry response from Taiwan.

“It is inappropriate for China to impede cooperation to fight crime for political factors,” the MAC said.

Full article: China cuts official contact with Taiwan over new president (Channel NewsAsia)

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