China on Monday rejected an offer by Taiwan’s new president to share the island’s experience of democracy, saying it was confident of the path it had chosen.
President Tsai Ing-wen made the offer via Facebook on Saturday in a post about the June 4 anniversary of China’s bloody crackdown on student-led protests in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
Self-ruled Taiwan is the only part of the Chinese-speaking world which holds free elections, and Tsai who had already upset China, had officials accusing her of promoting a pro-independence agenda, something anathema to Beijing.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, said that “the past 30 years had shown China had made the right choice”.
“In the last 30 years the success that China’s economy and society have achieved has received worldwide attention and the democratic system has continued to be perfected”, Hong told a daily news briefing.
Beijing has never released a death toll, but estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.
The subject remains a taboo in China, where President Xi Jinping is overseeing a broad crackdown on rights groups and activists.
China has never renounced the use of force to bring what it views as the wayward province of Taiwan under its control and is deeply suspicious of Tsai, who assumed office last month, due to her ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s pro-Taiwan independence stance.
Tsai said that “she is committed to maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait”.