DPP election duo will 'harm Taiwan's future'
A Chinese mainland spokesman stressed on Wednesday that "Taiwan independence" means war, amid concerns that the candidates of the Democratic Progressive Party for the island's coming leadership election, both known for their support for "independence", will increase tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
As the election for the Taiwan regional leader, which takes place every four years, approaches in January, candidates from the island's three major political parties have recently announced their running mates and completed the registration process.
The DPP's Lai Ching-te, who currently serves as the island's deputy leader, announced earlier this month that Hsiao Bi-khim, "Taiwan's representative to the United States", will serve as his running mate for the position of Taiwan's deputy leader.
In August, Lai, who declared himself as a "pragmatic worker for 'Taiwan independence'", made a "transit" through the United States during a trip to South America, despite strong objections from the mainland. Hsiao has been included in the mainland's list of die-hard "Taiwan independence" separatists.
Lai recently claimed that the 2024 Taiwan regional leadership election will determine whether "Taiwan will return to the path of relying on the mainland or standing with countries around the world".
Chen Binhua, spokesman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said Lai's remarks reflect his true colors as a "pro-independence" advocate, and that "Taiwan independence" means war.
The "pro-independence" candidates will only harm the interests and well-being of the people on the island, jeopardize peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and harm Taiwan's future, Chen said.
"At present, Taiwan is facing a critical choice between peace and war, prosperity and decline," he said, adding that it is hoped that Taiwan compatriots will firmly oppose "Taiwan independence" and promote the return of cross-Strait relations to the correct path of peaceful development.
People from the island have expressed concerns that the pair will only push Taiwan into a deep abyss and further escalate tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
Chen, from the Taiwan affairs office, said that on the political basis of adhering to the 1992 Consensus and opposing "Taiwan independence", the mainland is willing to work together with Taiwan's political parties, groups and people from all walks of life, to strengthen exchanges and cooperation.
He said that cooperation in fields such as tourism and education between the two sides depends on a healthy and sound environment for cross-Strait relations.
As long as cross-Strait relations return to the track of peaceful development, tourism and exchanges in other fields between the two sides can fully resume normalcy, he added.
Chen emphasized that the 1992 Consensus is the common political foundation for cross-Strait dialogue and negotiation. "There are no obstacles for any political party or group in Taiwan to communicate with us, as long as they uphold the political foundation of the 1992 Consensus," he said.