Chinese media claim Taiwan leader’s ‘separatist stance’ led to heavy losses for DPP at election
- Tsai ‘soured relations with mainland and people of Taiwan’
- DPP defeat lets pro-Beijing media ramp up ‘one China’ rhetoric
Chinese state-run media on Monday claimed the electoral defeat of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s party was a result of her “separatist stance”, saying it must make an “about-face” on ties with the mainland.
Tsai resigned as head of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after heavy losses in city and county seats during Saturday’s vote in self-ruled Taiwan.
The main opposition Kuomintang (KMT), which oversaw an unprecedented thaw with relations with Beijing before Tsai took office in 2016, made gains as China increased pressure on the island, which it considers as part of its territory to be reunified.
The state-run China Daily said Taiwan’s people were unhappy the government had not pulled the island out of quasi-economic stagnation and that its policies “have ignored the interests of many groups”.
“The Tsai administration’s secessionist stance has not only soured its crucial relations with the Chinese mainland, but also made it unpopular with people on both sides of the strait,” the Daily said.
“The election shows that the Tsai administration has betrayed Taiwan’s interests and become a troublemaker whose actions have drifted farther away from the practical needs of the Taiwan people and the historical truth of the consensus there is only one China.”
Cross-strait communication and cooperation between local governments are now expected to strengthen following the election, it said.
The DPP is traditionally pro-independence, and Tsai has refused to acknowledge Beijing’s position that Taiwan is part of “one China”, unlike her KMT predecessor Ma Ying-jeou.
Beijing has sought to punish Tsai and the DPP by ramping up military drills, wooing allies away and successfully persuading international businesses, including airlines, to list the island as part of China on their websites.
“Radical thinking and paranoia that permeates the green camp have misguided the DPP,” the nationalist Global Times said in an editorial.
“The party needs to reflect on this failure and make an about-face on its stance … (on) cross-strait ties.”