Voters in Taiwan rejected the policies of Chinese President Xi Jinping by an overwhelming majority on January 11. Some analysts say that Xi Jinping may continue to increase pressure on Taiwan. Chinese state media also advocated to increase military pressure on Taiwan.
In his speech on January 2, 2019 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Letter to Compatriots in Taiwan, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the policy proposition for the peaceful settlement of the Taiwan issue and the “One Country, Two Systems Taiwan Plan.”
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen immediately rejected Xi Jinping’s “One Country, Two Systems Taiwan Program.” Six months later, anti-government protests broke out in Hong Kong, which greatly boosted Tsai Ing-wen’s efforts to portray China as a threat to Taiwan’s democracy and freedom.
Reuters reported that Beijing, instead of realizing its failure to exert pressure on Taiwan, put more emphasis on one country, two systems after the election and said that this Taiwan policy will not change.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday (January 13) that the results of the Taiwan election will not change the one-China principle, and the one-China principle will not be shaken by the wrong words and deeds of Western politicians.
Zheng Zhenqing, an associate professor at the School of Public Administration of Tsinghua University and an expert on Taiwan issues, told Reuters: “For the mainland, one country, two systems is the country’s basic policy. How can this policy be changed by an election in Taiwan?”
Blanchett, director of China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told Reuters that Beijing is currently talking about tightening its Taiwan policy.
Beijing’s options for increasing pressure on Taiwan include many measures China has taken before: strengthening military exercises around Taiwan, or poaching a few more countries from Taiwan’s 15 existing diplomatic countries. China may also withdraw from the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) reached with Taiwan 10 years ago.
The Global Times, a subsidiary of China’s state-run People’s Daily, said in an editorial on Sunday (January 12): “We will deal a head-on attack on the new provocative actions of the Cai authorities, including the use of military pressure options that are unbearable for the Cai authorities. Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party have made a choice between the relatively peaceful situation in the Taiwan Strait and the shaking of the ground.”
Professor Zheng Zhenqing said that China’s use of more military intimidation against Taiwan is “a reality that can be done.”
Before voting in the Taiwan general election, China’s self-made aircraft carrier “Shandong” has passed through the Taiwan Strait twice. During Tsai Ing-wen’s years in power, Chinese military planes often conducted training around Taiwan.