Date: Apr 21, 2016
By: Ben Blanchard and J.R. Wu
China is stepping up pressure on self-ruled Taiwan a month ahead of the inauguration of a president from a pro-independence party Beijing distrusts, signaling a rocky start for the leader of the island elected on a wave of anti-China sentiment.
In the past few weeks, China has established ties with former Taiwan ally Gambia, sent a top general to inspect troops based in a frontline province and scooped up dozens of Taiwanese from Kenya wanted in China for fraud – a move denounced by Taipei as being more about politics than crime.
And Taiwan said a hotline meant to expedite direct communication between the top government officials dealing with each other’s affairs had not been answered by China twice at critical times of late.
China regards Taiwan as a wayward province to be taken back by force if necessary and wants the new government to stick to the “one China” policy agreed upon with the outgoing China-friendly Nationalist government.
Only 22 countries recognize Taiwan as the “Republic of China”, with most, including Kenya, having diplomatic relations with the “People’s Republic of China”, with its leaders in Beijing. [FULL STORY]