China firmly protects its territorial integrity, opposes Taiwan independence

An attendee covers her face during a party rally of Kuomintang presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu in Kaohsiung, on Jan 11, 2020. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BEIJING (AP, XINHUA) - China will firmly protect its territorial integrity and opposes any separatist attempts and Taiwan independence, its Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman said on Saturday, after the re-election victory of the self-ruled island's leader Tsai Ing-wen.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, made the remarks in a report carried by state media Xinhua news agency.

"We uphold the basic principles of 'peaceful reunification' and 'one country, two systems' and the one-China principle, resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, resolutely oppose separatist attempts and acts for 'Taiwan independence' in any form, and resolutely promote the interests and well-being of Taiwan compatriots," the spokesman said.

China's policy toward Taiwan is clear and consistent and is willing to work with the Taiwanese people to advance the "peaceful reunification of the country," Ma said.

The "peaceful development of cross-Strait relations is the right path to promote the common development across the Strait and benefit compatriots on the both sides," Ma added.

At around the same time Tsai was giving her victory speech, Xinhua issued a brief report saying she had won re-election as "leader of the Taiwan region."

That language was in keeping with the government's refusal to recognise Taiwan as an independent political entity and its leader as a head of state.

An editorial issued by the Communist Party's Global Times newspaper after the election accused Tsai and her party of tricks and "fear-mongering."

"The re-election of Tsai will increase the uncertainty across the Taiwan Straits," it said. "Yet no matter how much uncertainty there is across the straits, the fact that the Chinese mainland is getting increasingly stronger and the Taiwan island is getting weaker is an inevitable reality."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.