By Emerson Lim
TAIPEI, Taiwan, (CNA) – Taiwan’s foreign ministry on Sunday pushed back against a joint statement between Beijing and Myanmar that said Taiwan was undisputedly part of China’s territory.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) solemnly protests the joint statement issued by China and Myanmar on January 18, in which Myanmar reaffirmed the so-called ‘one-China principle’ and categorized Taiwan as an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China’s territory,” MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said in a statement.
“The ministry condemns such false statements that diminish the sovereignty of the Republic of China, Taiwan,” Ou said.
Taiwan is not part of China, and only the Taiwanese government elected by its people can represent Taiwan in the international arena, she said, responding to the statement issued Saturday by China and Myanmar during a two-day visit to the latter country by Chinese president Xi Jinping (習近平).
“The results of the (January 11, presidential) election fully demonstrated the will of the Taiwanese people in resisting China’s ‘one country, two systems’ model,” Ou said. “We urge the Chinese authorities to respect the election results and cease from suppressing Taiwan so that positive interactions across the Taiwan Strait can be realized.”
In the joint statement, Myanmar said it firmly adheres to the one-China principle and recognizes Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang as inalienable parts of the People’s Republic of China’s territory, according to a copy posted on the website of China’s foreign ministry.
Myanmar also said it supports Beijing’s efforts to resolve issues relating to Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang.
Ou, however, said: “China’s rude and unreasonable promotion of the fabricated one-China principle will only hurt the feelings of the Taiwan people and force democratic Taiwan to draw a line with autocratic China.”
Beijing should respect the results of the January 11, presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan, which gave incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) a second term in a landslide victory, Ou said.
Myanmar, the first non-Communist country to recognize the current Beijing government in 1949, has been identified as China-leaning in its geopolitical preferences and reportedly is engaged in extensive strategic and military cooperation with China.