--The Asahi Shimbun, May 18
EDITORIAL: China needs to act maturely with new Taiwan administration
(社説)台湾政権交代 中国は大人の対応を
As an expression of China’s earnest hope for its unification with Taiwan, the Xi Jinping administration refers to Taiwanese citizens as “compatriots.”

However, the administration is treating them as anything but. Beijing is restricting the traffic of tourists to Taiwan and increasingly staying away from economic and academic conferences held in Taiwan.

With a change of government coming up in Taiwan on May 20 following the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) landslide election victory over the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the Xi administration is putting the squeeze on Taiwan. A Beijing official in charge of China-Taiwan relations recently warned his Taiwanese counterpart to the effect that they could not talk candidly like “real brothers.”

Beijing’s overbearing attitude is hardly likely to help build a future-oriented China-Taiwan relationship. The people of Taiwan have voted for a new administration of their choice, and Beijing ought to humbly accept the results.

The KMT was in power for the last eight years. Originally a Chinese political party, the KMT deepened Taiwan’s ties with China in keeping with the “one China” concept.

On the other hand, the DPP’s stance is that Taiwan and China are separate sovereign states, even though the party attaches importance to ties with Beijing. But Beijing has been applying all sorts of pressure on the DPP to retract its basic principle.

There was also a development regarding Taiwan’s planned participation as an observer in this year’s World Health Assembly, which will be held next week in Switzerland.

Not only did Taiwan receive its invitation late this year, but the invitation also spelled out that it was being sent on the understanding that there is only “one China.” Taipei believes it is being “tested” by China through the WHO.

In Kenya, 45 Taiwanese were arrested on suspicion of remittance fraud. But the suspects were extradited to China, not to Taiwan. Taiwanese authorities are objecting vehemently to Beijing, claiming the latter interfered with the Kenyan government in the extradition procedure.

The Xi administration may well be thinking that letting Taiwan’s new DPP administration go unchecked is tantamount to accepting the split with Taiwan. But China’s high-handedness, which barely conceals its intent to pull rank on Taiwan, will only raise questions in the international community about China’s Taiwan policy.

Economic ties have certainly strengthened between China and Taiwan, but the Taiwanese people have become less interested in unification.

This is not only because it has been 67 years since the split. In Taiwan’s view, the problem is that China has not abandoned the option of using military force to realize the unification, nor has it shown any real signs of democratization.

It will be difficult for the Xi administration to win the hearts of the people of Taiwan by simply pressuring them into accepting the “one China” concept.

We urge Beijing to quietly watch the start of Taiwan’s democratically elected new administration, and then strive to start new dialogue in earnest. It is this sort of “maturity” that we expect of Beijing.