BEIJING China hit back at Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s offer to help China transition to democracy on Monday, saying the “values and ideas” pushed forward by her party had caused chaos on the self-ruled island.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said only mainland Chinese had the right to speak on mainland affairs, while suggesting Tsai could better spend her time reflecting on “the widespread discontent” in Taiwan and the “reasons behind why cross-strait relations had reached an impasse”.
Beijing distrusts Tsai and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party because it traditionally advocates independence for Taiwan. Beijing says the island is part of China and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.
“We are closer than any other point in history to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people,” office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang said in a statement sent to Reuters.
“(Taiwan authorities) should not divert attention and shirk responsibility while further inflaming cross-strait antagonism.”
Speaking on Sunday, the 28th anniversary of the violent suppression of student-led pro-democracy protests in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Tsai said the biggest gap between Taiwan and China was democracy and freedom, needling Beijing at a time when relations are at a low point.
“For democracy: some are early, others are late, but we all get there in the end,” Tsai said on social media.
“Borrowing on Taiwan’s experience, I believe that China can shorten the pain of democratic reform.”
After nearly 40 years of martial law imposed by the Nationalists on Taiwan, the island in the late 1980s began its own transition to democracy, holding direct presidential elections since 1996.
While tens of thousands gathered for a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong on Sunday, the Tiananmen anniversary remains strictly taboo on the mainland, where public commemorations are banned.
(Reporting by Philip Wen and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)
China services sector expands at fastest pace in four months in May – Caixin PMI
BEIJING, June 5 Activity in China’s services sector expanded at the fastest pace in fourth months in May thanks to a surge in new orders, a private business survey showed, helping to offset worries about unexpected weakness in manufacturing.
China upset at Mattis’ ‘irresponsible remarks’ on South China Sea
SHANGHAI China has expressed its strong dissatisfaction with what it labelled “irresponsible remarks” on the South China Sea by U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis during a security forum at the weekend.
Silk Road hub or tax haven? China’s new border trade zone may be less than it seems
HORGOS, China/KHORGOS, Kazakhstan On the border of China and Kazakhstan, an international free trade zone has become a showpiece of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature “Belt and Road” Initiative to boost global trade and commerce by improving infrastructure and connectivity.