Wall Street Journal
Date: Jul 18, 2015
By: Josh Chin
China is in denial about its alienation of Taiwan and needs to rethink its approach to the
island, the top official in charge of managing Taipei’s relationship with Beijing said on Friday.
“Somehow they need to think of how to do some soul-searching,” said Andrew Hsia, the head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council. He said that his counterparts in Beijing seemed “puzzled” by growing antipathy among Taiwanese people toward China.
The comments from Mr. Hsia, delivered in a conversation with The Wall Street Journal in New York, show how mainland China’s declining image in Taiwan has complicated relations ahead of the island’s presidential elections, whose outcome could frustrate Beijing’s desire for closer ties.
Relations between Taiwan and China have long been fraught; the two sides split in 1949 following a civil war. The past seven years, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and his ruling Nationalist Party have worked to reduce tensions in a bid to boost the island’s economy. But stagnating wages and growing income inequality have become front-burner issues for many in Taiwan, and some see trade and commercial dealings the mainland as contributing to those problems. They question the concessions Taipei is making to Beijing, which has refused to disavow force in bringing about eventual reunification. [FULL STORY]