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Cross-strait ties at crucial crossroads: Chinese official

Washington, Aug. 13 (CNA) Cross-Taiwan Strait relations are now at an important juncture, faced with a choice of which path ahead to take, a senior Chinese official in charge of Taiwan affairs said in the United States on Thursday. Zhang Zhijun (???), chief of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council, is visiting Washington D.C. Aug. 12-14. On Thursday, Zhang had a lunch meeting with Daniel Russel, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs. The Chinese official later meet with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department. Zhang told reporters that during his meetings with the U.S. officials, he mentioned that cross-strait relations had improved since 2008 on the basis of the "1992 consensus" and opposition to Taiwan independence. This has benefited the people on both sides, especially in Taiwan, and helped to maintain peace and stability across the strait, he said. Beijing hopes that the peaceful development of relations will continue but it is also aware that cross-strait ties are now at a very important juncture, faced with the choice of which road ahead to take, he said. One choice is to stick to the "1992 consensus" and walk along the path of peaceful development, while the other option is to return to the old path of Taiwan independence, he said. He said Taiwan independence is the biggest threat to cross-strait peace and stability and that Beijing has the ability and confidence to deal with any situations that may arise as a result. Taiwan is scheduled hold its next presidential election in January. The latest polls show Tsai Ing-wen (???), chairwoman and presidential candidate of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, leading in a three way race against ruling Kuomintang candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (???) and People First Party Chairman James Soong Tsai has refused to recognize the "1992 consensus" although she has pledged to maintain the cross-strait status quo if elected. (By Tony Liao and Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-09-22 02:24 GMT+08:00