'One China' principle must be basis for relations with Taiwan: Xinhua

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen addresses during an inauguration ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Only by confirming the ‘One China’ principle can cross-strait authorities continue regular communications, a spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said on Saturday, according to the state newswire Xinhua.

Taiwan’s new president Tsai Ing-wen, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which has traditionally favoured independence, was sworn in on Friday after eight years under the China-friendly Nationalist Ma Ying-jeou.

Although Tsai, Taiwan’s first woman president, said Taiwan would play a responsible role and be a “staunch guardian of peace” with China in her speech on Friday, Chinese officials are pressuring the new government to explicitly endorse the so called “one China” principle which was agreed to with the Nationalist Party.

According to that principle, which China says was agreed to in 1992, both sides can interpret what “one China” means.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Friday said Tsai’s remarks were an “incomplete answer” while an editorial published Saturday in the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, said that “Taiwan’s new leadership must complete their currently incomplete response.”

Cross-strait authorities have had active interactions for more than two years through a hotline and other means after establishing a regular mechanism in 2014 based on the 1992 consensus, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office said on Saturday, according to Xinhua.

Reporting By Nathaniel Taplin; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle