January 19, 2024
BEIJING – The results of Taiwan’s leadership election cannot change the dominant role of the Chinese mainland in directing cross-Strait relations, nor can it prevent the historical trend of the reunification of the two sides, experts said.
Chen Binhua, spokesman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Wednesday that the results of the election cannot shake the status and fact that Taiwan is part of China, nor can it change the basic direction of the development of cross-Strait relations.
In the three-way contest held on Saturday, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party won the leadership with about 40 percent of the votes. In a simultaneous election for the island’s 113-seat legislative yuan, the main opposition Chinese Kuomintang became the largest party, while the DPP’s seats decreased compared to the election four years ago.
“The results showed that the DPP cannot represent the mainstream public opinion on the island,” Chen said, adding that removing the DPP from office, opposing “Taiwan independence”, advocating for peace over war, development over decline, and communication over separation, represents the mainstream opinion.
He said that in the future, the mainland will respond to the common desire of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait for peace, development, communication and cooperation.
Since the pro-independence DPP will enter its third consecutive term in power, some argue that the possibility of peaceful reunification across the Strait has diminished, with netizens calling for the mainland to reunify Taiwan by force.
“This reflects people’s concerns about the DPP potentially aggravating tensions and instability in the Taiwan Strait,” Chen said in response, adding that the mainland is ready to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity and effort.
Chinese civilization emphasizes unity, and it fundamentally determines that national reunification is always at the core of China’s interests, and that a strong and unified country is the destiny of all ethnic groups, he said.
“The fact that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have not yet been fully reunified is a historical wound left on the Chinese nation. The deepest desire of Chinese people on both sides is to heal this historical trauma and strive for national reunification,” he added.
Xu Xiaoquan, a deputy researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Taiwan Studies, said that as the DPP continues in office, cross-Strait relations may face more complex and severe challenges, but the development direction of cross-Strait relations will not change.
The fundamental factor determining the direction of cross-Strait relations is the progress and development of the mainland, and the dominant role of the mainland in steering cross-Strait relations will not change, he said.
He added that despite the obstacles set by the DPP for cross-Strait exchanges, the mainland has been expanding cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation, and more compatriots from Taiwan are actively integrating into the development process of the mainland.