China warns Taiwan against 'separatist schemes'


Beijing (AFP)

China warned Taiwan on Monday that it "will never tolerate any separatist schemes" amid tensions between the mainland and the self-ruled island.

The government issued the warning in a report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang to the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress, the Communist Party-controlled rubber-stamp parliament.

The report says Beijing will continue to uphold its "one China" principle and promote the "peaceful growth" of cross-strait relations under the 1992 consensus, which agrees that there is only one country without specifying which is its rightful representative.

Beijing will also "advance China's peaceful reunification," according to the text.

"We will remain firm in safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and will never tolerate any separatist schemes or activities for 'Taiwan independence'," it says.

China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification and has cut off official communications with Taipei as President Tsai Ing-wen refuses to acknowledge the democratic island as part of "one China".

China voiced anger last week after the US Senate passed a Taiwan travel bill to encourage visits between Washington and Taipei "at all levels".

Washington cut formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979, recognising the Communist mainland rulers in Beijing as the sole government of "one China."

But Washington has kept an ambiguous approach to the island, maintaining trade relations and selling weapons to Taipei, further angering Beijing.