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Iran Press TV

Taiwan sees 'new era' in China, urges renewed dialog

Iran Press TV

Thu Oct 26, 2017 07:33AM

Taiwan says the recent changes in China's leadership mark a "turning point" that can be used to start dialog and improve cross-strait relations.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday that China's ruling party had entered into "a whole new era," and Taipei and Beijing needed to drop historical antagonisms and work toward a breakthrough in bilateral relations.

"Right now is a turning point for change. I once again call on leaders of both sides to... seek a breakthrough in cross-strait relations and to benefit the long-term welfare of people on both sides and to forever eliminate hostilities and conflict," Tsai said at a forum in Taipei.

The Taiwanese president, however, stressed that Taipei would not submit to pressure despite the island's goodwill toward China.

China and Taiwan split amid a civil war in 1949, and relations have been tense. China continues to view self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory and subject to a diplomatic protocol known as "One China," according to which other countries should acknowledge Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

Earlier in the day, and at the closing of China's Communist Party Congress, the party elected a new Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), reinstating Xi Jinping as president. Premier Li Keqiang was the only other member besides the president to retain his seat in the ruling PSC. Five new individuals were also elected.

At the start of that Congress last week, President Xi had said that any attempt to separate Taiwan from China would be thwarted.

In a swift response to Xi's comments, Taipei's Mainland Affairs Council said it was "absolutely" the right of Taiwan's 23 million people to decide their own future.

Relations between China and Taiwan have further soured under Tsai, whose Democratic Progressive Party advocates Taiwan's formal "independence."

Chinese officials are unexceptionally opposed to the separation of Taiwan from China, and it was not clear what Tsai meant by referring to the start of a "whole new era" in Chinese leadership.

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