In this Jan 17, 2018 photo, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of State Council, takes a question during a press briefing in Beijing, China. (CHEN YUHUA / XINHUA)
BEIJING – A mainland spokesperson on Wednesday reiterated firm opposition against "Taiwan independence," reiterating the necessity of safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"We firmly oppose any attempts of 'Taiwan independence' including facilitating such attempts through revising laws," Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson with the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a press conference.
We will not tolerate any 'Taiwan independence' force harming cross-Straits peace and stability or obstructing national rejuvenation.
Ma Xiaoguang, Spokesperson, Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council
Asked whether the recent navy drill around the island is a warning against "Taiwan independence," Ma said the mainland has the will, confidence and ability to defeat any forms of "Taiwan independence" and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"We will not tolerate any 'Taiwan independence' force harming cross-Straits peace and stability or obstructing national rejuvenation," he said.
The spokesperson termed groundless Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen’s remarks that the mainland tried to change the lifestyle of Taiwan's people and suppress the island's international space.
The remarks are aimed at creating hostility and confrontation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, he added.
"We all knew that the Taiwan administration undermined the favorable and peaceful development of cross-Strait relations," he said.
"We have always respected the social system and lifestyle of Taiwan compatriots and would like to share development opportunities with them."
The mainland has adopted a number of preferential policies to facilitate Taiwan compatriots to study, work and live in the mainland, he stressed.
OBSTACLES TO CROSS-STRAITS EXCHANGES
Ma also criticized Taiwan’s current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration for restricting and obstructing exchanges including placing obstacles to press exchanges across the Taiwan Strait by various means.
"These practices are unpopular among the public and must be exposed and denounced," he said.
Ma confirmed the DPP administration had unreasonably rejected the application of a reporter of SETV based in the mainland's Fujian province to station in Taiwan, saying the rejection had set a terrible example, since both sides of the Strait started to send reporters to cover news on the other side.
"Through a large amount of objective and just news stories, mainland journalists in Taiwan have played the role of bridges and bonds in enhancing understanding and kinship between compatriots from both sides, especially in helping people from the mainland to know Taiwan better," he said.
"The rights and interests of mainland journalists should be protected, and their work involving news reporting in Taiwan should be respected," Ma said.
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