BEIJING -- China warned Taiwan's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party on Wednesday that its stance on relations with Beijing could threaten a hard-won state of peaceful coexistence, as the island's closely watched elections draw near.
China has slowly ramped up the rhetoric ahead of Taiwan's Jan. 14 presidential and parliamentary polls, offering both economic incentives for the self-ruled island and making veiled threats that a vote for the DPP would harm vital trade ties.
China has made little secret of its distaste for the DPP, even as its candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, tries to lay out a more moderate line than former President Chen Shui-bian, whose strong support for Taiwan's independence infuriated Beijing.
Speaking at a regular news briefing, Yang Yi, spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said a return to those days would be a disaster. The DPP's Chen held office from 2000 to 2008.
“Upholding the 'Taiwan independence' platform of one country on either side of the Taiwan Strait would be a step backward into the era of Chen Shui-bian, and that would inevitably threaten the peaceful development of cross-strait ties,” he said.
Yang repeated that whoever is in charge on the island must accept the “1992 Consensus,” referring to Beijing's cherished “one China” policy, which includes Taiwan as part of China.
“Denying the '1992 Consensus' will wreck the basis for cross-strait consultations, which will of course be unable to continue,” Yang said.
“I will not make any comments about the election, (but) we still hope that compatriots on both sides of the Strait will work hard to maintain the current good trend of the peaceful development of relations,” he added.
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