Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-Wen Provokes Beijing in BBC Interview, ‘We’re an Independent Country’
Jan. 15, 2020 (EIRNS)—Following her Jan. 11 landslide re-election (hugely influenced by the chaos in Hong Kong), Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-Wen provocatively claimed in an interview with British state-run BBC that China must now “face reality” and accept that “we don’t have a need to declare ourselves an independent state. We are an independent country already, and we call ourselves the Republic of China, Taiwan.”
As reported by Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, Tsai warned Beijing that any military action against Taiwan would be “very costly,” and that China should respect Taiwan. Her election victory, she argued, proves there is little appetite now for the “One China concept” and the ambiguity it has created over Taiwan’s status.
“The situation has changed, and such ambiguity can no longer serve the purposes it was intended to serve,” she claimed. Taiwan’s “sovereignty” is not in doubt.
These provocative remarks aided by the British Empire’s BBC, brought an immediate response from Ma Xiaoguang, the spokesman for the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Council, who warned, “we firmly attack and counter various forms of Taiwan independence and separatist activities in order to maintain overall peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” according to MSN. By refusing to accept the one-China concept and supporting and tolerating Taiwan’s pro-independence movement, he said, Tsai had “unilaterally damaged” the basis for official exchanges and cross-Strait cooperation. The one-China principle is the only basis for official talks with Taiwan, Ma emphasized. “Moving a mountain would be easier than moving the one-China principle,” he insisted. “The election does not change the fact that Taiwan is part of China.”
According to Asia Times, in the four days since the Jan. 11 election, Tsai has received three U.S. delegations and received a flood of congratulations. Among them was former Vice President Joe Biden’s message, telling Tsai that “you are stronger because of your free and open society.” The U.S., he said, “should continue strengthening our ties with Taiwan and other like-minded democracies.” Tsai also met with a delegation from the neo-con American Enterprise Institute, with which she reportedly discussed the possibility of signing a free-trade agreement with the U.S.