China must end saber-rattling against Taiwan and maintain peace and stability, the head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said on Friday, as Beijing stepped up its political and military pressure on the island it claims as its own.
China has stepped up its military activities near democratically governed Taiwan since August, when it held blockade exercises around the island following a visit to Taipei by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Beijing should end its saber-rattling as it only deepens the gap between the two sides and increases tensions in the region,” Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chiu Tai-san told a forum in Taipei.
“We urge mainland China to lay down its arms and maintain peace and stability. The key to peace is to reverse the mentality of handling problems by force,” Chiu said, adding that Beijing should resolve disagreements with Taipei through “constructive dialogue without preconditions.”
Chiu said he hoped China could gradually relax its travel restrictions to control the COVID-19 pandemic, so that both sides could resume “healthy and orderly exchanges and create a space for positive interaction.”