China official threatens worst-case scenario if Taiwan amends law

Taiwanese lawmakers propose removing wording from act to reflect reality of Taiwan-China relations

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China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China's Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) warned Taiwan "not to underestimate the strong will and determination of China's 1.4 billion people to maintain sovereignty and territory intact" at a media briefing on Saturday (May 9).

Ma made the comment after Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers proposed removing some words from the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area to line up with reality.

The proposed amendment, led by DPP lawmaker Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘), wants to delete "before national unification" along with several other phrases. These are said to be the product of a mutual misconception between the Chinese Communist Party and Taiwan's Nationalist Party at the time it was implemented in 1992, one suggesting both sides will one day reunify.

The wording does not conform to today's political reality that Taiwan is an independent nation by the definition of international law. China thinks otherwise.

The lawmakers who proposed the changes said they should be based on the actual need for national development, according to a media report. "Whether the country opts for reunification, independence, or the status quo, it should be determined by all Taiwanese," Tsai said.

The bill passed its first reading on Friday (May 8) and is slated for review by the Internal Administration Committee.

However, China sees the proposed amendment as a provocative attempt to challenge its bottom line. Ma described it as "extremely dangerous" and warned of a worst-case scenario for those trying to separate Taiwan from China "in any format."

"No one or any power can ever stop this historical trend of reunification," Ma claimed.