Xi Jinping Enraged After Taiwan’s Election

A battle of words between Taiwan and China erupted last weekend following Taiwan’s elections, with Taiwan accusing Beijing of making “fallacious comments” about the election and Beijing blasting the United States for congratulating Taiwan’s new president Lai Ching-te, the Associated Press reported.

Lai’s victory on January 13 was a blow to Beijing’s efforts to claim Taiwan as part of China.

Lai’s Democratic Progressive Party supports keeping the status quo of a self-governing Taiwan that does not seek formal independence from China. Meanwhile, Beijing has called for a “peaceful reunification” of Taiwan with China, a position that is broadly opposed by the Taiwanese people.

In a statement following the election, the Chinese Foreign Ministry insisted that the question about Taiwan is “China’s internal affair” and the reality that “Taiwan is part of China will not change.”

Taiwan dismissed the Foreign Ministry’s statement as “cliches” that “are not worth refuting.” It said Beijing’s statement was “completely inconsistent” with the international consensus and “the current cross-strait situation,” and was contrary to the expectations of the “global democratic communities” and the will of the Taiwanese people.

In congratulating Lai on his victory, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US looked forward to working with the leaders of Taiwan “to advance our shared interests and values.”

Blinken also congratulated the Taiwanese people for demonstrating that their democracy was strong.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry blasted Blinken’s statement, claiming that it sent the “wrong signal” to the “separatist forces” in Taiwan that are seeking independence from China and was contrary to Washington’s commitment to only maintaining unofficial ties with Taiwan.

Following the January 13 elections, an informal US delegation led by former national security advisor Stephen Hadley and former Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg met with political leaders in the capital Taipei for post-election discussions.

The United States does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, however, it keeps an office in the capital and remains the country’s main supplier of weapons.