'If DPP continues to stubbornly adhere...': China threatens more trade sanctions on Taiwan as election nears

'If DPP continues to stubbornly adhere...': China threatens more trade sanctions on Taiwan as election nears

'If DPP continues to stubbornly adhere...': China threatens more trade sanctions on Taiwan as election nears

As Taiwan gears up for 13 January presidential and parliamentary elections, the Chinese government on Wednesday threatened to place further trade sanctions on the island nation if the ruling party “stubbornly” adheres to supporting independence.

China, which views the island as its own territory, has sought to force Taiwan to accept Chinese sovereignty claims.

Addressing a news briefing in Beijing, Chen Binhua, spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said the “root cause” of resolving problems related to the 2010 deal was Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) adherence to the island’s formal independence.

“If the DPP authorities are determined to persevere, continue to stubbornly adhere to their Taiwan independence position, and refuse to repent, we support the relevant departments taking further measures in accordance with the regulations,” Reuters quoted Chen as saying.

Taiwan has accused China of employing economic coercion and interfering in its elections.

Beijing’s decision to terminate tariff reductions on certain chemical imports from Taiwan was cited as a violation of a 2010 trade agreement between the two nations. China asserted that Taiwan had erected trade barriers in defiance of both World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations and the bilateral trade deal.

China holds a strong aversion to Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its presidential candidate, Vice President Lai Ching-te, who currently leads in the polls, viewing them as separatists. Lai has consistently stated that he has no intentions of changing Taiwan’s formal name, the Republic of China, emphasizing that the island’s people should determine their own future. Despite extending multiple offers for dialogue, Lai has faced rejection from China.

The historical context dates back to 1949 when the defeated republican government fled to Taiwan after losing a civil war to Mao Zedong’s communists, who subsequently established the People’s Republic of China.

According to Chen, Taiwan is at a crucial juncture, and discussions are possible as long as they oppose Taiwan’s independence. He reiterated the stance that advocating for Taiwan’s independence implies the risk of war.

Despite the tensions, Chen expressed gratitude to Taiwanese companies that donated funds to aid in the aftermath of a recent earthquake in a remote part of northwestern China, which claimed the lives of 1949 people.

Notably, there was no mention of condolences or offers of assistance from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s government to China after the disaster.

With inputs from agencies