China says it aims to ‘contain’ foreign interference over Taiwan this year

China aims to “contain” foreign interference over Taiwan and “resolutely combat” any efforts towards the island’s formal independence this year, which is the sensitive 75th anniversary of the founding of communist China, state media said on Friday.

China views democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, ignoring the objections of the government in Taipei, and has ramped up political and military pressure to assert those claims.

Taiwan last month elected current Vice President Lai Ching-te as its next president, a man Beijing has called a dangerous separatist. Lai, who takes office in May, has repeatedly offered talks with China but has been rebuffed.

China’s official Xinhua news agency said the ruling Communist Party’s fourth-ranked leader, Wang Huning, held a two-day meeting on this year’s Taiwan-related work which ended on Friday.

Wang said that with this year being the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China it was “necessary to do a good job on Taiwan-related work with a high sense of responsibility and mission”, Xinhua said.

China “must resolutely combat the division of Taiwan independence, contain interference from external forces, firmly support the patriotic and reunification forces on the island, unite Taiwan compatriots, and maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”, it cited Wang as saying.

In China’s terminology, interference from external forces generally covers areas such as U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and visits to Taipei by foreign officials and lawmakers.

Xinhua said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, also head of the party’s foreign affairs commission and director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office from 2008 to 2013, attended the meeting.

Taiwan’s government says China has no right to claim to represent the island’s people on the international stage and that as the People’s Republic of China has never ruled Taiwan its sovereignty claims are void.

Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic in Beijing on Oct. 1, 1949, after a bloody civil war.

The defeated Republic of China government fled to Taiwan at the end of 1949, and that remains the island’s formal name.

Neither government recognises the other.

Source: Reuters

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