China Responds to President Tsai's WSJ Interview

China Responds to President Tsai's WSJ Interview
Photo Credit: 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen

What you need to know

'No power or individual should underestimate the determination of the over 1.3 billion people on the Mainland,' China says.

Chinese authorities have reiterated the “one China” principle in response to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) recent interview with the Wall Street Journal.

In the interview, published on Oct. 4, Tsai said she hopes that “Mainland China does not misinterpret or misjudge the current situation, or think that it can make Taiwanese bow to pressure.” The interview came after signs that pressure from Beijing was behind Taiwan's inability to participate at meetings of international organizations, including the ICAO assembly in Montreal last week, and indications that it may not be invited to join the Interpol summit in Indonesia next month. Among other things, Beijing has turned the crews on the Tsai administration to acknowledge the so-called 1992 consensus, which it has set as a "precondition" for continued dialogue across the Taiwan Strait. Beijing has vowed to further isolate Taiwan if President Tsai does not give in.

“The pledges we have made in the past remain unchanged," Tsai said. "Our goodwill is unchanged. But we will not succumb to pressure from China.”

An Fengshan (安峰山), spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council, responded to Tsai’s interview today.

"Our [China's] position is steadfast on opposing any 'Taiwan-independence' activities. No power or individual should underestimate the determination of the over 1.3 billion people on the Mainland," state-run Xinhua quoted An as saying.

During her interview with the Journal, which was published days before she delivers her National Day address on Oct. 10, Tsai mentioned the “Four Nos” that were first put forth by former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in his inauguration speech in 2000 and which were widely seen at the time as an olive branch to Beijing. The “Four Nos” are a pledge that as long as China does not take military action aginst Taiwan, the government will not:

  1. Declare Taiwanese independence;
  2. Change the national title from the Republic of China to the Republic of Taiwan;
  3. Include a doctrine of special state-to-state relations with China in the ROC Constitution;
  4. Promote or hold a referendum on unification or independence.

First Editor: Edward White
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole


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