|In this photo taken on May 25, 2016, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, answers questions at a regular press conference in Beijing, capital of China. Ma said at a press conference on Jan 11, 2017, that Taiwan saw major changes to its political landscape in 2016 and the cross-Straits situation became more complicated. (Xinhua /Chen Yehua)|
BEIJING - The Chinese mainland Wednesday reiterated the one-China policy and firm opposition to countries that have diplomatic ties with China officially contacting Taiwan authorities in any form.
"The Taiwan issue concerns China's core interests, and we hope the relevant people of the US will abide by the one-China policy and the three China-US joint communiques," said Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, at a press conference.
The spokesperson hoped they would deal with Taiwan-related issues properly and prudently in order not to harm the overall China-US relations and cross-Straits peace and prosperity.
Ma made the remarks when asked to comment on Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen's contact with US officials while she was passing through Houston on her way to Central America.
READ MORE: Taiwan, HK independence supporters 'to fail'Ma also warned against "increasing uncertainties, risks and challenges" in the development of relations across the Taiwan Straits in 2017, adding the mainland will continue to adhere to the 1992 Consensus.
"Taiwan saw major changes to its political landscape in 2016 and the cross-Straits situation became more complicated," said Ma.
The changes last year show that "only by sticking to the 1992 Consensus, which reflects the one-China principle, could cross-Straits ties see steady development and develop further, while destroying this political foundation would see a storm gather over the Straits," Ma said.
The Taiwan issue concerns China's core interests, and we hope the relevant people of the US will abide by the one-China policy and the three China-US joint communiquesMa Xiaoguang, spokesman of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office
The mainland has been consistent in adhering to the 1992 consensus and opposing "Taiwan independence" since Taiwan's current leader Tsai Ing-wen took office in May last year, the spokesperson said.
Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, however, has refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus or acknowledge that both sides of the Straits belong to one China, impairing the joint interests and contact between compatriots across the Straits.
"The current DPP administration has returned to the old beaten path of confrontation prior to 2008," Ma said.
"The DPP should not shirk its responsibility for the current unfavorable situation," he said.
In the year ahead, the mainland will continue to adhere to the 1992 Consensus, opposing "Taiwan independence" in any form, safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and protect peace and stability across the Straits, according to the spokesperson.
The mainland authority will introduce policies and measures to facilitate the study, work, life and business ventures of Taiwan compatriots on the mainland to promote joint interests and exchanges, Ma said.
Ma also said that the mainland would bring up new policies to promote Taiwanese investment and boost cross-Straits cooperation in 2017.
"The mainland is still Taiwan's largest trade partner and the biggest source of exports and trade surplus," said Ma.
"The mainland is the best choice for Taiwanese industrial and commercial circles to develop business, and no force will stop or weaken the promising future of the win-win situation of cross-Strait economic cooperation," added Ma.
In the first 11 months of 2016, the mainland approved 3,072 Taiwan-funded projects, up 19.58 percent year on year, with the use of Taiwanese capital reaching US$1.69 billion, up 17 percent, according to the latest Ministry of Commerce figures.
Trade volume between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan reached US$161.38 billion from January to November last year, down 4.9 percent year on year.
MAINLAND VISITOR NUMBER DROPS
As for tourism, a total of 3.61 million Chinese mainland residents visited Taiwan in 2016, an annual decrease of 800,000, Ma said.
The number of mainland tourists to Taiwan has slipped 14.4 percent, the first drop in eight years.
By contrast, Ma said that a total of 5.73 million people from Taiwan had visited the mainland in 2016, an annual increase of 4.2 percent.
Ma said that changes in Taiwan's situation had resulted in different trends: mainland cross-Straits policies had become more attractive to Taiwan residents, whereas changes in Taiwan's polices had brought negative effects, making mainland tourists less willing to visit the island.
Ma said that over the last year, exchanges between people on the two sides had kept developing. He added that the two sides had conducted exchanges in more fields, and exchanges between young people and people from the grassroots had increased.
He pointed out that more young people from Taiwan had gone to the mainland to study or participate in internship programs.
Cross-Strait exchanges had improved the mutual understanding and affection between people on both sides and displayed the strong will of people on both sides to carry forward peaceful development of cross-Strait ties, he added.
The spokesman said the mainland would continue to support cross-Strait communication in the new year, creating more chances for cross-Strait exchanges and making efforts to tackle practical difficulties for Taiwan residents studying, working or living on the mainland.
He also denied claims of mainland interference in the exhange of people working in the entertainment industry.