Beijing yesterday condemned Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui for 'promoting separatism' in his new book and warned that his 'fallacy' would seriously damage cross-strait relations. Xinhua yesterday hit out hard against Mr Lee's Taiwan's Viewpoint, which it said showed the President was, on the one hand, 'flirting with the United States and Japan' while on the other 'aiming to weaken China by suggesting China should be divided into separate self-governed regions'. Beijing leaders suspect the book, published a year before Mr Lee retires as President, is intended to influence cross-strait policy of the future president and government. In his book, Mr Lee says China would be better governed if Beijing gave up the concept of a 'Great China' and divided the country into seven self-governed regions, namely Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Northeastern Region, Northern Region and Southern Region. 'Let the regions co-operate and compete with each other, and this will help maintain stability within the country,' he says in the book. Mr Lee argues that Asian nations will always feel threatened by Beijing as long as its leaders cling to the hegemonist and nationalist concept of a Great China. 'Lee is blatantly calling for separatism and anti-unification,' Xinhua said. The book flirted with the US and Japan and encouraged confrontation between Chinese people, it said. Xinhua accused Mr Lee of rallying for US support to resist Beijing's efforts for reunification with the mainland. Accusing Taiwan of pursuing independence, Beijing has renewed its demand to discuss the two sides' political futures once they resume talks on economic and legal issues. Beijing suspended talks with Taipei four years ago in anger at efforts to raise the island's international profile. An article in the latest issue of Cross-Strait Relations Magazine said the time was not right to resume talks with Taiwan on 'routine matters'. 'If political talks cannot be held to remove obstacles, negotiations on routine matters can do nothing but add fuel to the flames,' it said. Top mainland negotiator Wang Daohan said he would visit Taiwan this year, but neither side has said when talks might resume.