BEIJING – After three days of silence, China on Wednesday slammed Taiwan’s proposal to reduce cross-Strait tensions, arguing that the initiative was deceptive and part of a veiled attempt to gain independence.
Beijing was responding to a National Day speech Sunday in which Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian called for renewed dialogue and direct air links between the longtime rivals.
China has viewed Taiwan as a rightful part of its territory since the two separated in a 1949 civil war.
“Chen Shui-bian claimed that he intends to ease tensions and confrontation across the Taiwan Strait, but has obstinately stuck to his separatist stand of ‘one country on each side’ of the Strait,” said Zhang Mingqing, spokesman for the mainland’s Taiwan Affairs Office, at a news conference in Beijing.
“If Chen Shui-bian remains bent on sticking to his splittist and Taiwan independence activities, he will never bring peace and prosperity to the Taiwan compatriots, but will only bring great catastrophe.”