Taiwan urges China not to get involved in its internal affairs and to respect its democratic process

A Democratic Progressive Party supporter at a Taipei rally on Nov 23, 2018. A Chinese official said that the mainland has noticed the results of Taiwan's elections and will continue to develop peaceful cross-Strait relations. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TAIPEI - Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, which deals with its China relations, has urged Beijing not to get involved in Taiwan's internal affairs and to respect its democratic process.

The council stressed that Beijing should not engage in one-sided, political interpretation of Taiwan's just-concluded local elections and of its people's expectations on cross-Strait ties.

Any deliberate political approaches from China to Taiwan's local governments and its people would not help with positive cross-Strait interactions, the council added.

The comments were made in a statement released by the Mainland Affairs Council on Sunday (Nov 25), in response to earlier remarks made by Mr Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

Mr Ma had said on Sunday morning that the mainland will continue to enhance solidarity with Taiwan compatriots and follow a path of peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, according to Xinhua news agency.

Mr Ma made the remarks when asked to comment on the local elections in Taiwan over the weekend.

"We have noticed the results of the elections," said Mr Ma, adding that the results reflected the strong will of the public in Taiwan in sharing the benefits of the peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait, and desires to improve the island's economy and people's wellbeing, Xinhua reported.

"We will continue to uphold the 1992 Consensus, and to resolutely oppose separatist elements advocating 'Taiwan independence' and their activities," said Mr Ma.

With a correct understanding on the nature of the cross-Strait relations and the nature of exchanges between cities across the Strait, more counties and cities in Taiwan are welcomed to participated in such exchanges and cooperation, said Mr Ma.

The president of Taiwan resigned as leader of her independence-leaning party on Saturday night after it suffered stunning local election defeats to the opposition Kuomintang, which favours closer ties with China.

The island nation's political landscape was shaken up by voters who delivered a sharp rebuke to President Tsai Ing-wen's ruling Democratic Progressive Party in elections contesting more than 11,000 seats from city mayors to neighbourhood wardens, the New York Times reported.

The results have given the Kuomintang a new lease on life, and a potentially strong challenger to Ms Tsai in the presidential election 14 months away.

Ms Tsai took office in May 2016 and has refused to acknowledge the 1992 Consensus that China and Taiwan belong to one China, with each side having its own interpretation of what this means.

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