Taiwan says China can't shirk responsibility in promoting positive cross-strait ties

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said on Monday China should not veer away from its responsibility in promoting positive cross-strait exchanges, after China warned the self-ruled island it would not tolerate separatist activities.

“Positive exchanges on both sides is a mutual responsibility and cannot be unilaterally passed on to Taiwan or intentionally avoided,” the Taiwan council said in a statement.

China will never tolerate any separatist schemes for Taiwan and will safeguard China’s territorial integrity, according to prepared remarks by Premier Li Keqiang at the opening of China’s annual meeting of parliament.

China also said its military budget this year would grow 8.1 percent from 2017, a larger increase than the previous two years.

Reporting By Yimou Lee, Lee Chyen Yee and Meg Shen; Editing by Toby Chopra