We will walk on international stage, Taiwanese president insists

17-Jan-2017 Intellasia | The Guardian | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Beijing fumes as Taiwanese president declares intent to ‘walk on the international stage’ after stopovers in the US where she met Republicans

China has stepped up its rhetoric against Donald Trump, with a Communist party-controlled newspaper declaring Beijing will have no choice but to “take off the gloves” if the incoming president insists on tearing open a Pandora’s box over Taiwan.

Taiwan’s assertive president, Tsai Ing-wen, meanwhile declared her country’s determination to “walk on the international stage” after two stopovers in the US that angered Beijing.

The China Daily warned on Sunday that Beijing needed to ready itself for a “costly” battle with the property tycoon after he takes office on 20 January. An editorial said Trump’s repeated threats to abandon the “one China” policy could no longer be dismissed as “bluster or miscalculation” but instead appeared to be a deliberate and intolerable ploy designed to extract concessions from Beijing.

“If Trump is determined to use this gambit on taking office, a period of fierce, damaging interactions will be unavoidable, as Beijing will have no choice but to take off the gloves,” warned the China Daily, which the Chinese government uses as an international mouthpiece for its views.

The editorial was accompanied by a cartoon of Trump brandishing a hand grenade labelled “Trump’s China Policy”.

An editorial in the Global Times, a ferociously nationalist party-run tabloid, accused Trump of behaving like “a rookie” whose “amateurish” foreign policy steps threatened to plunge the world into chaos.

“We find him risible,” the newspaper said.

Under a nearly four-decade old policy, the United States has acknowledged Beijing’s position that there is only one China. The US has formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan, which Beijing sees as a breakaway province to be reunified with the mainland one day.

After attacking China repeatedly during the election campaign, Trump has continued in the same vein with critical Twitter messages over its alleged currency manipulation, military moves in the South China Sea, and for not doing enough to restrain North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.

Beijing had called on Washington to prevent Tsai’s two stopovers on US soil and uphold the “one China” policy. China has regularly voiced its fury with Trump since he spoke by phone with Tsai after winning the US presidential election. It was the first time a US president or president-elect had spoken to Taiwan’s leader since “one China” became the official diplomatic status quo in 1979.

On Sunday, Tsai was making no apologies as she returned to Taiwan from her trip to the Americas, which included US meetings with Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz and state governor Greg Abbott, as well as a visit to the headquarters of Twitter in San Francisco.

Tsai said the trip, which took her on to Central America, elevated the island’s international profile.

“Our first objective [of this trip] was to consolidate our state friendships and allow Taiwan to walk on the international stage,” Tsai said at Taiwan’s international airport upon her return.

She said she had bilateral talks with four heads of state in Central America. “We also grasped the opportunity during our short transit time in the United States to visit industries and talk with important people in America,” Tsai said.

US officials had said Tsai’s transit stops were based on longstanding US practice and Tsai’s office had characterised her meetings there as private and unofficial.



Category: Taiwan

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