Taiwan calls on China to respect its people’s commitment to democracy
The government of Taiwan said Sunday that China should respect the Taiwanese people’s commitment to the basic concepts of sovereignty, democracy and freedom.
The China Policy Affairs Council on Taiwan said in a statement that China should handle matters across the Taiwan Strait in a pragmatic, rational, equal and mutually respectful manner.
This came in response to the remarks of Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who said that the government should promote the peaceful development of relations with Taiwan, promote China’s peaceful reunification process, as well as take firm steps to oppose Taiwan independence.
“Since we Chinese people living on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are one blood family, we must promote economic and cultural exchange and cooperation across the Taiwan Strait, and improve systems and policies that contribute to the well-being of our compatriots in Taiwan,” the Chinese prime minister said as he opened this year’s session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing.
“We must promote the peaceful development of cross-straits relations and advance China’s peaceful reunification,” Keqiang told the nearly 3,000 delegates gathered in the Great Hall of the People.
The self-governing democracy, which was never part of the People’s Republic of China, has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the island of about 23 million people to be part of its territory.
Amid rising tensions in the region, China has committed itself to absorbing Taiwan and in recent months has conducted a series of naval and air exercises.
After Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, there were growing concerns that China might also use military force in its longstanding territorial claims over Taiwan.