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China reasserts hard line on Taiwan after Panama's switch

Associated Press logo Associated Press 14/06/2017
A police officer walks by a monument honoring the 150 years of the Chinese community in Panama City, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. Panama switched diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China on Tuesday, dealing a major success to Beijing in its drive to isolate the self-governing island it claims as its own territory. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco) © The Associated Press A police officer walks by a monument honoring the 150 years of the Chinese community in Panama City, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. Panama switched diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China on Tuesday, dealing a major success to Beijing in its drive to isolate the self-governing island it claims as its own territory. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

BEIJING — China is reasserting its hard line on Taiwan following Panama's switching of diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

Spokesman for the Cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office Ma Xiaoguang told reporters Wednesday that there could be no deviation from Beijing's insistence that Taiwan recognize it's part of China.

The move by Panama this week was the clearest sign yet of China's drive to increase pressure on Taiwan's independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen.

Tsai's ruling Democratic Progressive Party says it wants stable relations with Beijing but hasn't endorsed the "one China" principle. Beijing cut ties with Tsai's government a year ago and has been steadily ratcheting up both diplomatic and economic pressure.

The sides split amid civil war in 1949, and Beijing insists only it has the right to represent China in international society.

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