TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) confirmed to CNN that there are U.S. troops in Taiwan and amid news of Taiwan’s warming relationship with Europe, China has responded with increasingly strongly worded statements.
At an event entitled “The 9th Straits Youth Day,” Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Deputy Director Long Mingbiao (龍明彪) claimed, “Pro-Taiwanese independence forces are rampant right now, which actually reflects their internal weakness as well as the irritation that accompanies their pending doom.”
“The wild, evil-doing, and the stubborn pro-independence crowd today will certainly be taken up the podium for criminal judgment and pinned upon the historical column of shame,” said Long.
TAO Deputy Director Long Mingbiao at "The 9th Straits Youth Day." (Weibo, iFeng.com screenshot)
Meanwhile, at the “National Reunification and Chinese Rejuvenation” seminar, TAO Deputy Director Liu Junchuan (劉軍川) claimed that after reunification, “Taiwan’s financial income can totally be used to improve civil life.”
According to the Beijing Daily, Liu made a list of “improvements” for Taiwan at the seminar that he said are attainable after reunification and focus on the “peaceful development of cross-strait relations in the new campaign.” He covered issues related to “security and tranquility,” economic development, civil benefits, cultural creativity, and diplomacy.
“The many Taiwanese compatriots should see clearly that reunification with the motherland and Chinese rejuvenation is for the greater good and brings great profits,” Liu is quoted as saying. “Taiwan will stand up straighter internationally and participate in global politics as well as the construction of mankind’s common destiny.”
The statement comes mere days after reports of China pressuring the Holy See to break off relations with Taiwan. The Holy See is one of the few diplomatic allies Taiwan has left, as many others have cut ties due to the same pressure from China.
Liu repeatedly stressed that Taiwan can benefit from having “more room” to develop in the Chinese market and said, “Cross-strait interactions will become more convenient and Taiwanese, particularly the great youth, can explore a larger world on the mainland. Taiwan’s financial income can be used to improve civil life.”
Liu’s quote topped the trending list on Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent. Also on the list of trending topics was the suppression of a distress call from citizens of Ruili City, Yunnan Province.
Another wave of COVID-19 outbreaks takes over China. (Sina, Visual China Group photo)
As another wave of COVID-19 outbreaks spreads across 14 provinces in China, Ruili residents have taken to Weibo with desperate pleas, saying repeated long-term lockdowns have forced people out of work and caused misery. However, local officials quickly denied such claims and the mayor said, “Ruili does not need relief for the time being,” according to iFeng.com.
The attempt to placate the public has not stopped Chinese netizens from discussing the city’s hardship. A top comment by Weibo user "Cheniille" saying, “I declare: I am a resident living in Ruili City. The mayor doesn’t need relief, but I do,” received over 35,000 likes. The second most popular comment by “It’s Luo Xiao” (洛晓洛呀) admonished COVID prevention staff seen breaking down people’s doors with handcuffs in hand in a now-deleted video.