China has categorically dismissed Taiwan’s offer to have ‘meaningful’ talks and accused the island’s government of engaging in “cheap trick” and provocation by seeking confrontation at several instances, international media outlets reported. In her New Year’s address, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on January 1 said that the nation is willing to have peaceful talks with China as equals as long as Beijing is ready to put aside confrontation. As Taiwan offers another olive branch to China, Beijing has continued to claim that Taiwan is its own territory and terms it ‘breakaway province’ and has even ramped up military activity near the island.
While China has said that it is responding to “collusion” between the US and Taipei, Tsai, speaking from the presidential office said that Beijing has threatened the peace as well as stability in the Indo-pacific region. Taiwan President said that if China is willing to “defuse antagonism” and improve the relations, the island will also reiterate similarly hostility. However, China's Taiwan Affairs Office in a statement late on Friday reportedly said that there was no way of avoiding the reality that Taiwan belongs to the mainland.
"I want to reiterate, that when it comes to cross-strait relations we will not advance rashly and will stick to our principles," Tsai said.
"As long as the Beijing authorities are determined to defuse antagonism and improve cross-strait relations, in line with the principles of reciprocity and dignity, we are willing to jointly promote meaningful dialogue," she added.
Tsai was heard echoing similar remarks she made in October in her national day speech, China cut off all formal talks mechanism in 2016 after Taiwan President won the office. Beijing has repeatedly rejected Tsai’s advances throughout the years and has said that Tsai has to first accept the island as a part of China. However, Tsai has refused to do the same but has offered to 'help'.
"We have shown again and again that 'Taiwan can help'. As a force for good in the world, we will continue to be an indispensable member of the international community, both now and into the future," said Tsai.