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

British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign Jihadists More

Audio Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid