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Idea to loan island to US brushed off

By Luo Wangshu | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-14 09:42

Mainland has 'resolve, strength' to defend nation's sovereignty

A think tank's proposal that Taiwan lend Taiping Island in the South China Sea to the United States for military use is very dangerous, a spokesman for the Chinese mainland said on Wednesday.

"Any speech or action that harms Chinese people's interests will be spurned by people from both sides of the Taiwan Straits," said Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office.

Taiwan's administration called the proposal "untrue" on Sunday, and said "there is no plan to rent the island to foreign countries, including the US".

The proposal to lend Taiping Island to the US for military use in the name of humanitarian aid was made by a Taiwan-based think tank, according to Taiwan media reports. Taiping, at 46 hectares, is the largest island in the South China Sea's Nansha Islands. It lies roughly midway between southern Vietnam and the Philippines.

When asked to respond to Taiwan media reports that some people in Taiwan have said the United States will further support the Democratic Progressive Party, Ma described it as wishful thinking and a major miscalculation of the international situation that deliberately misleads the Taiwan public.

The Chinese mainland has the resolve, the confidence and the ability to defeat separatist attempts to achieve so-called Taiwan independence in any form, and to defend China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Ma said.

"Taiwan independence" forces are the largest threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, and the greatest harm to the interests of Taiwan compatriots and the Chinese nation, Ma said.

"We will never allow the historical tragedy of national division to repeat itself, and nobody should underestimate our resolve and strength," he said.

Commenting on a US official attending the dedication ceremony of the new office complex of the American Institute in Taiwan on Tuesday, Ma said, "The United States should adhere to the one-China principle and the three joint communiques between China and the United States, so as not to undermine bilateral ties and peace and stability in the region."

"Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party administration will only further damage cross-Straits relations by implicating foreign powers," Ma said.

He also said that the mainland will provide around 600 internships in various industries for young Taiwan residents in the coming months.

"Many government offices and enterprises across the country have introduced their summer internship programs for youth from the island," Ma said.

Taiwan companies will also enjoy preferential policies including market access, financial services, fund support and customs clearance, he added.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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