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Chinese official warns of risks to cross-strait ties in 2017

2017/01/01 16:27:26

Beijing, Jan. 1 (CNA) A senior Chinese official responsible for Taiwan affairs said on New Year's Day that relations between Taiwan and China will remain rocky and complex over the coming year with plenty of uncertainty and potential risks.

The mainland will continue its adherence to the "1992 consensus" and its opposition to any efforts to achieve Taiwan independence in order to uphold the nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said in an interview with CCTV News.

China will also continue to promote cross-strait exchanges on various fronts to enhance the well-being of Taiwanese people, Chang said, adding that China is working on a slew of measures to benefit Taiwanese people studying, working, starting up businesses and living in the mainland.

"We believe people on the two sides of the strait have the ability and wisdom to overcome present difficulties and remove all obstacles to allow cross-strait relations to advance further," he said.

Zhang also reiterated the importance of accepting the "1992 consensus" as the political foundation for cross-strait peace and stability, saying that any attempt to undermine that foundation will see cross-strait relations return to the turbulence of the past.

The political foundation on which the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and mutual political trust has been built since 2008 was undermined in 2016, Zhang said.

The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between China and Taiwan, which was then under a Kuomintang (KMT) government, that there is only one China, with both sides free to interpret what that means.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party came to office in May 2016, relations between the two sides have cooled, mainly because she has refused to heed Beijing's calls to accept the "1992 consensus" as the political foundation for cross-strait exchange.

(By C.C. Yin and Evelyn Kao)
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