Beijing will 'never tolerate' Taiwan's separation from China: Xinhua

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 20 2020 03:15 PM

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President William Lai Ching-te attend the inauguration ceremony at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Taiwan May 20, 2020. Makoto Lin, Taiwan Presidential Office/Reuters

Beijing will "never tolerate" Taiwan's separation from China, a spokesman at the mainland's top Taiwan body said Wednesday, after President Tsai Ing-wen was inaugurated for a second term.

China considers the democratic, self-governing island as part of its territory, and has repeatedly advocated for its eventual reunification with the mainland -- using military force if necessary. 

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office, said China had "sufficient ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity", according to official state news agency Xinhua.

Beijing would "never tolerate any separatist activities or external forces interfering in China's internal politics", he said.

Ma said China said was willing to "create a vast space for peaceful reunification", but will "not leave any room for all forms of Taiwanese independence separatist activities".

China would adhere to the principles of "peaceful reunification" and "1 Country, 2 Systems", he added, referring to the political framework used to govern the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong. 

Tsai is loathed by Beijing because she views Taiwan as a de facto sovereign state and not part of "1 China". 

In recent years cross-strait ties have come under more pressure as China has isolated Taiwan from its few remaining diplomatic allies and flexed its military might in the strait separating the 2. 

© Agence France-Presse