China warns Taiwan over new law before trade pact

China expresses concern over Taiwan's proposed new law concerning cross-strait relations

Photo by: Shutterstock
Photo by: Shutterstock

China has warned Taiwan that the passage of a proposed new law governing relations between the two could damage basis for talks.

The Chinese government warned Taiwan on Wednesday that the passage of a proposed new law governing relations between the two could seriously damage the basis for talks, and that Beijing opposed any obstacles to developing ties.

China is not pleased with Tsai Ing-wen and her pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who has won the parliamentary and presidential elections in January on the back of a wave of anti-China sentiment.

In 2014, hundreds of students fearful of China's growing economic and political influence on the democratic island staged protests - dubbed as the Sunflower Movement - outside Taiwan's parliament for weeks, demanding more transparency.

The demonstrations over the 2013 Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement were the largest display of anti-China sentiment in Taiwan in years. The pact aimed to open up investment from both sides in industries such as banking, healthcare, and tourism.

The DPP is proposing Taiwan's parliament first to pass a so-called cross-Taiwan Strait supervision law before agreeing to the trade pact.

Asked about the development, a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office said the basis for talks between the two sides should not be damaged.

"Anything that damages the basis for consultations and negotiations between the two sides of the strait, interferes in or impedes relevant progress or puts up man-made blocks on the development of ties, we will resolutely oppose," spokesman An Fengshan said.

Chinese trade minister last month urged Taiwan to pass the trade pact.

China and Taiwan split in 1949 after the Chinese civil war. 

Communist Party-ruled China still demands that Taiwan eventually be unified with the mainland, by force if necessary, while many citizens of democratic Taiwan increasingly prefer to simply maintain the separate status the island has carved out over more than six decades.

Last November, the leaders of the two sides met for the first time in 66 years, and though no concrete agreement resulted, both hailed the meeting as a sign of a new stability in relations.

TRTWorld and agencies