Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on May 22 that Beijing will encourage the people of Taiwan to promote China’s “reunification” and oppose the voices that call for independence. Presenting the work report at the start of the annual meeting of parliament, Li said that China would resolutely oppose and deter any separatist activities seeking Taiwan independence.
Taiwan considers itself as sovereign while China claims the province as Beijing’s territory under its one-China policy and has been pushing to implement the Hong Kong system in the self-governing island. Hong Kong, a former British Colony, returned to Chinese rule in 1997 but on condition of higher autonomy and Beijing has been offering the same to Taiwan but all major Taiwanese party have rejected it.
Li said that China will improve policies to encourage exchanges and cross-strait cooperation to protect the wellbeing of Taiwan’s people. Li’s comment came after Tsai Ing-Wen said that Taiwan can not accept Beijing’s “one country, two systems” policy which undermines the “cross-strait status quo”. During her inaugural address on May 20, Ing-Wen highlighted the complex and changing cross-strait circumstances saying the government has made the greatest effort to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
“We will not accept the Beijing authorities' use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo. We stand fast by this principle,” she said.
Taiwanese President said that the government is willing to engage in dialogue with China but will not accept China’s "one country, two systems". She added that the administration will continue to handle cross-strait affairs according to the Constitution of Taiwan and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.
“Cross-strait relations have reached a historical turning point. Both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term and prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences,” said Taiwanese President.