Taiwan responds to Xi’s tough messages at 19th Congress with worries

Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs admitted Chinese President Xi Jinping’s stern message is probably to create a hurdle for Taiwan on the world stage

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The stern message in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the 19th Communist Party Congress in Beijing on Wednesday has caused headaches for the Taiwanese government. The Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee admitted that Taiwan is probably facing tough road ahead after Xi’s speech.

Chinese President Xi Jinping told the assembled members of the party Wednesday that the party “will never allow anyone, any organization, any political party, at any time or in any form, to separate any part of Chinese territory from the country.”

Apart from the same emphasis of the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, Xi made these two the prerequisites to conduct conversations between the two sides in Wednesday’s speech, rather than a framework under which both sides can seek a common ground through talks as stated in his speech at the same occasion in 2012, which at the time Taiwan was under the leadership of China-friendly Ma Ying-jeou.

In a briefing to the Legislature on Wednesday, David Lee admitted that Xi’s address is probably to create a hurdle for Taiwan on the world stage, and the ministry has no choice but to deal with it.

Lee said the ministry will host a cross-department meeting with the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and the Ministry of National Defense (MND) to respond to the threat.

The MAC also issued a statement the same day saying that Beijing's “one-China principle” and “one country, two systems” can hardly be accepted by the Taiwanese people. The cabinet-level administrative agency responsible for the planning and the implementation of policies on cross-strait relations expressed sadness at seeing Beijing’s rhetoric of containment against Taiwan, blaming the other side for heightening the confrontation and impasse.

“President Tsai Ing-wen has been taking a pragmatic approach to handling the cross-strait issue and does not challenge the status quo,” said the statement, and it highlighted Tsai’s continuous goodwill and patience in safeguarding regional peace and stability.