China has rejected Taiwan’s latest offer of talks, accusing Taipei of seeking confrontation with Beijing amid the island’s drive for independence.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement on Friday that since 2016, the island’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) “has continued to provoke by seeking independence, confronting the mainland at every turn, and deliberately creating confrontation across the Taiwan Strait”.
“They again talked about so-called ‘dialogue,’ but where can that come from? We urge the DPP authorities to stop it with these cheap tricks that dupe people,” the office added.
The statement came hours after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen stressed that Taipei is ready to conduct “meaningful” talks with Beijing on an equal basis if Chinese authorities indicate a willingness to put aside what Tsai described as confrontation.
In May 2020, Tsai said that Taiwan wants dialogue with China but that it cannot accept its proposal for "one country, two systems".
"Both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term and prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences”, she pointed out at the time.
Tsai’s latest remarks were made amid ongoing bilateral tensions which were sparked by China building up its military activities near the island, including flyovers by Chinese military warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
Separately, China conducted military exercises near the Taiwan Strait, which Beijing said were aimed at protecting the country's territorial integrity following US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach's visit to Taiwan on 17 September.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the visit violated the One-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques on developing a bilateral dialogue.
Officially, the US follows the One-China policy, which does not recognise Taiwan as an independent entity, even though Washington has trade and business ties with the island and supplies weapons to it.
China, in turn, sees Taiwan as part of its own territory, cutting off a mechanism on formal bilateral talks back in 2016, when Taiwanese President Tsai was elected.