News / Asia

China Renews Pressure on Taiwan for Political Talks

FILE - Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou raises his fist after giving a speech during National Day celebrations in front of the presidential office in Taipei, Oct. 10, 2013.
FILE - Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou raises his fist after giving a speech during National Day celebrations in front of the presidential office in Taipei, Oct. 10, 2013.
Ralph Jennings
China and Taiwan have shelved political hostilities for the past five years to reach a series of trade and investment deals, improving overall relations. Now, China’s president has made a fresh bid for sensitive political talks with Taiwan. However, Taipei’s politically weakened leadership may be unable to deliver.
 
China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan for more than six decades, and this month Chinese President Xi Jinping told the island that the two sides must eventually discuss their old political differences. Xi made the comment to a Taiwanese envoy at a regional economic summit in Indonesia.
 
Leonard Chu, an honorary professor specializing in communication and China at National Chengchi University, in Taipei, said the pressure from China should be expected, as should resistance from Taiwan.
 
“Ever since Deng Xiaoping was still around, he was saying that we want Taiwan to be back and in a matter of time we have to sit down and talk and we can’t just talk about economic issues.  Sooner or later, we have to discuss political issues. Xi wants to push toward that direction for sure, and Taiwan wants to delay it,” explained Chu.
 
China and Taiwan have been separately ruled since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s, when the Communists defeated the Nationalists. The Nationalists, or Kuomintang, moved their government to Taiwan, 160 kilometers off the coast. China considers Taiwan a part of its territory and has not ruled out the use of force to reunify the two sides.
 
However, the last military threat was made in 2005; three years later the two sides shelved political differences to sign economic, trade and investment deals that have lifted Taiwan’s economy. Last year, 2.6 million Chinese tourists visited Taiwan, making up 35 percent of the international headcount.
 
The latest pact would open 64 service sectors in Taiwan and 80 in China, but Beijing is bristling because the legislature in Taipei has stalled over the details.
 
Many have long viewed China’s goodwill on economic deals as a charm offensive designed to make the island’s public accept eventual political reunification.
 
This month’s comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping about finally resolving their political differences appeared to back that suspicion up. China wants talks to include a peace accord, Taiwan’s acknowledgement that the two sides belong to one country and more Chinese control over the island’s foreign relations.
 
Taiwan’s public supports business-related deals with China, the world’s second largest economy. Those pacts helped bring two-way trade to $121 billion last year.
 
Nonetheless, many Taiwanese remain leery of political agreements that could affect the island’s autonomy. Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has been hampered by approval ratings in the teens and low 20s for much of the year. He cannot run for office again in 2016 because of term limits, but to help his ruling Nationalist Party’s reputation he is expected to want broad public support before talking politics with China.
 
Alexander Huang, strategic studies professor at Taiwan’s Tamkang University, thinks Ma must be careful if he meets his Beijing counterpart.
 
“The approval rating is pretty low right now, so we cannot say that he does not have the mandate of the people but he would be, I guess, extremely cautious if he thought about doing that. I think people would be interested to see whether… Ma Ying-jeou would be treated in an inferior position,” said Huang.
 
The Taiwanese president has declined to give a timetable for political talks, and the envoy who met Xi Jinping at the regional cooperation meeting made no further commitment. However, in the face of possible cuts in China’s economic largesse for staying quiet too long, Taiwan’s president is now deciding whether or not to visit China and its leader for the first time next year.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: jack from: china
November 15, 2013 4:37 AM
Taiwan is a part of china,no one can change this fact. but taiwan people have been fooled too long that many of them just feel hard to accept the turth,or even dont know them are just chinese.


by: Wu Hao Yu from: Taipei, Taiwan
October 24, 2013 11:52 AM
Thank you for the comment downstairs. I am Taiwanese, I insist that Taiwan be an independent country. We are not communists. We live in a democratic place where the government will not force a pregnant woman to do the abortion operation. I admit our president is a bumbler, but I am convinced that 2016 will be a new and hopeful turning point! Let's wait and see. Taiwan is not surbordinated to China!


by: ken from: u.s
October 23, 2013 3:57 AM
Taiwan is independent country with it's own government, Constitution, Taiwanese Own currency. Taiwanese got Taiwan passport "Not" PRC Passport.

It does not make any sense Why? China want to claim Taiwan as it's sovereignty.

"China" Fix your country first. Greed will ruin your appetite.

Live free and die free


by: A Taiwanese student from: DC, USA
October 22, 2013 1:42 PM
Yap, Taiwan belongs to China, the Republic of China.

The People's Republic never has, for one single day, ruled Taiwan in its 64 history. We are proud of our democratic and economic achievements, and hope to work with our Chinese friends (maybe future family?) towards a common peaceful and prosperous future. But Beijing really needs to recognizing this "inconvenient" truth first.


by: Anonymous
October 22, 2013 5:55 AM
Taiwan belongs to China.


by: Anonymous
October 21, 2013 1:04 PM
the north korean deployed nuclear weapon has been impacted the eastern asian safely. in the background have china sopport actually with north korean, why US not yet to support the taiwan build nuclear system weapon for improve the balance of politic bargaining chip for negotiation on taiwan?


by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
October 21, 2013 11:02 AM
Go China go!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid