Taiwan condemns ‘fallacious’ Chinese comments on its election, awaits unofficial US visit

TAIPEI: Taiwan on Sunday condemned what it said were “fallacious comments” by China following the self-governing island’s presidential and parliamentary election the previous day. The verbal sparring did not bode well for the future of Taiwan’s relations with China under the winner, President-elect Lai Ching-te, or for China’s relations with the United States.
The US said it has asked two former officials to go to Taiwan this week for post-election meetings with political leaders, a move that will likely displease China.
Former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and former Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg will arrive in Taipei on Monday and have meetings on Tuesday, the American Institute in Taiwan said in a news release. The institute is the de-facto US Embassy, since the United States does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
Lai’s victory means the Democratic Progressive Party will continue to hold the presidency for a third four-year term, following eight years under President Tsai Ing-wen. China portrays the party as its nemesis and a major obstacle to its goal of bringing the island of 23 million people under its control.
A statement from Taiwan’s foreign ministry accused China’s Foreign Ministry and its Taiwan Affairs Office of falsehoods in the respective statements they issued Saturday night after the results of the election were announced.
It took issue specifically with China’s often-repeated line that Taiwan is a domestic Chinese issue. China regards Taiwan as a renegade province and says that it should not even have a foreign ministry or any official relations with foreign governments.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in its statement that “the Taiwan question is China’s internal affair. Whatever changes take place in Taiwan, the basic fact that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China will not change.”
That statement “is completely inconsistent with international understanding and the current cross-strait situation. It goes against the expectation of global democratic communities and goes against the will of the people of Taiwan to uphold democratic values,” the Taiwanese statement said. “Such cliches are not worth refuting.”
Lai, who will take office in May, won a three-way race for president with 40% of the vote, less than the clear majority Tsai won in 2020. Their Democratic Progressive Party lost its majority in the legislature, finishing with one seat fewer than the Kuomintang, or Nationalist Party. Neither holds a majority, giving the Taiwan People’s Party – a relatively new force that won eight of the 113 seats – a possible swing vote on legislation.
The statement from the Taiwan Affairs Office in China said that the results showed that the Democratic Progressive Party does not represent mainstream public opinion on the island.
“Our stance on resolving the Taiwan question and realizing national reunification remains consistent, and our determination is rockvsolid,” Chen Binhua, a spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said in a written statement.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry, in its response, called on China ” to respect the election results, face reality and give up its oppression against Taiwan.”
The Chinese military regularly sends fighter jets and warships into the skies and waters near Taiwan. Any conflict could draw in the United States, which is Taiwan’s main supplier of military equipment for its defense. Source

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