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September 24, 2017

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Taiwan's future is for all Chinese to decide: Beijing

BEIJING -- Taiwan's future must be decided by all Chinese people rather than by only Taiwan residents, a spokeswoman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of China's State Council said Wednesday.

"Any issue related to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be decided by all Chinese people, including Taiwanese compatriots," said Fan Liqing at a weekly news briefing in response to a question from a Xinhua News Agency reporter.

She was asked to comment on a statement made by Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te during a recent trip to China that Taiwan's future should be determined by the wishes of its people.

During a forum in Shanghai on Saturday, Lai, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was reported as saying that although Taiwan independence is what his party is striving for, it should be decided by Taiwan's 23 million people.

Lai was lauded in Taiwan for defending the DPP's stance in China, but his comments raised the eyebrows of his Chinese hosts.

At Wednesday's press briefing, Fan reiterated Beijing's "firm and unwavering" opposition to Taiwan independence, and "its clear and consistent policy toward the DPP."

"We welcome visits by all Taiwanese, regardless of who they are or whatever political ideas they once had, as long as they now favor, support and take part in the peaceful development between the two sides," she said.

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