War of words after Taiwan election highlights the intractable divide over the island's fate

A war of words has erupted the day after Taiwan’s presidential election In this photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from left Wang Liang-Yu, director-general of the department of North American, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Laura Rosenberger, Chair of the Ameri… TAIPEI, Taiwan — A war of words erupted the day after Taiwan ‘s presidential and parliamentary election s, with Taiwan on Sunday accusing China of making “fallacious comments” and China criticizing the U.S. for congratulating the winner. The verbal sparring highlighted the seemingly intractable divide over Taiwan’s fate, a major flashpoint in U.S.-China relations that risks leading to an actual war in the future. The victory of Lai Ching-te in Saturday’s election was a setback for China’s efforts to bring Taiwan under its control. His Democratic Progressive Party advocates maintaining the status quo, in which Taiwan governs itself but refrains from declaring formal independence — a move that could trigger a Chinese military response. China, meanwhile, calls for what it terms a “peaceful reunification,” but that seems increasingly unrealistic as most Taiwanese have come to oppose becoming part of China. Taiwan said as much, taking issue with China over its often-repeated line that Taiwan is a domestic Chinese issue. China regards the island of 23 million people as a renegade province and says it shouldn’t have its own president or official relations with foreign governments. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on the election that “the Taiwan question is China’s internal affair” and “the basic fact that …. Taiwan is part of China will not change.” Taiwan said that statement “is completely inconsistent with international understanding and the current cross-strait situation. It goes against the expectation of global democratic communities and goes against the will of the people of Taiwan to uphold democratic […]

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By Donato