The mayor of Taipei, Ko Wen-je, who is in certain quarters seen as a potential future president in Taiwan, said on December 5 that China has a lot of issues to worry about starting from the Hong Kong protests to a slowing economy. He added that China is too distracted to worry about Taiwan.
Wen-je, who struggled for better relations with Beijing, said that China is currently too distracted. He said China claims Taiwan as its core issue but he believes that Taiwan is not China's core issue.
“They say that Taiwan is a core issue, but I’m very clear that it isn’t. Taiwan is not China’s core issue,” said Wen-je. “In comparison to Hong Kong, to Xinjiang, Taiwan is not on the top of the priority list. For mainland China, there are their economic problems, their GDP has already fallen to below 7 per cent,” he added in an interview
He said that the US, Taiwan’s most important international backer, would not let Taiwan become formally independent or be taken over by the mainland. Chinese defence ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said on November 18 that the nation will not tolerate any incidents in favour of Taiwan's independence. The spokesperson made the comments at a news briefing following a meeting of Chinese and US military officials in Bangkok. He also urged Washington to strike an appropriate deal on the issue. According to the defence ministry of self-ruled Taiwan, Beijing's carrier ship had passed the Taiwan Strait on November 17 which was tailed by ships from the US and Japan.
A day after Taiwan claimed that a Chinese ship had passed through its strait, China confirmed that it and called it 'routine training' and tests of ships. This was also the second carrier ship from Beijing which crossed self-ruled Taiwan and has further fueled tensions with Beijing in the disputed parts of the South China Sea. Reportedly, the carrier was launched in 2017 and it crossed through sensitive areas before entering the disputed waters. According to the spokesperson of the Chinese navy, it was for 'scientific research tests and routine training'.