Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said on Thursday the island was not ready to discuss unification with China, sending a firm message to an increasingly assertive Beijing eager to absorb what it considers as a renegade province.
In an exclusive interview, though social and economic disparities between its own giant neighbor that was Communist and the proudly democratic isle were narrowing, their political differences stayed broad.
“The political situation involving both sides is still quite distinct,” said Ma, speaking on the day China was observing its National Day. “I believe to talk about issues, like union, isn’t so appropriate. Taiwan isn’t prepared.”
His remarks underscore how much Taiwan has moved from covering China following massive demonstrations on the island a year ago against a cross-strait trade pact as well as the weakening of Mother pro-China Nationalist party.
Taiwan and China have been ruled separately since conquered Nationalist forces fled after losing a civil war.
Ma recognized China’s market and society have changed drastically in the previous 30 years.
“The market and society are freer than before,” he said. “Its stock markets are lively. This is seldom seen before.”
China is lots of Taiwanese technology firms run plants and Taiwan’s biggest trading partner.
Though there happen to be no political discussions and feelings remain on either side with Beijing, Taiwan has signed a number of economic and commerce pacts under Ma.
The DPP says it considers just the folks in Taiwan can determine its future, a position Beijing interprets as favoring autonomy.
Taiwan is likely China’s most sensitive political problem, and its own ultimate “retrieval” continues on top of the agenda for the Communist Party.
The President Xi Jinping in China said in a regional summit in 2013 that a political answer into a standoff over sovereignty surviving more than six decades cannot be postponed forever.