Yahoo reports via Agence France Press that Taiwan snubs China premier’s warning against independence.

Taiwanese authorities have rebuffed Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s warning against the island’s independence movement saying Taiwan’s future should be decided by the people here rather than Beijing.

“It was nothing new at all. We are not surprised,” Huang Wei-feng, deputy chief of Taiwan’s China policy decision-making body Mainland Affairs Council, told reporters when asked to comment on Wen’s remarks.

“They have been doing this all the way. Didn’t they say they have hinged their hope on Taiwan people? But as a matter of fact, they have no idea what Taiwan people are thinking and what they want,” Huang said.

Wen issued the warning while addressing the opening of the National People’s Congress annual session at Beijing, pledging that “we will uncompromisingly oppose secessionist activities aimed at Taiwan independence.”

Tensions spiked last week after Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, defying pressure from Washington and Beijing, formally scrapped an advisory council and guidelines set up to look at eventual reunification with the mainland.

The council was set up 15 years ago by a non-democratic government, and at the time Beijing objected to the council. Everyone can see authoritarian logic hard at work: Beijing says it is a provocation when the council is erected, and Beijing says its a provocation when it is shut down. It should be obvious that the real problem is that for Beijing, Taiwan is a provocation. “We are a little land. And little lands on the borders of a great empire were always hateful to the lords of the great empire. He longs to blot them out, gobble them up.

The Yahoo report is a cut above most, for it gives Taiwan’s rebuttals:

The council was considered largely symbolic and had been dormant since 2000 but Chen’s decision infuriated Beijing, which accused Chen of pushing the region towards disaster.

The Taiwanese government has defended the scrapping of the advisory council and guidelines insisting that they were not decided by the people but by the former Kuomintang (KMT, or Nationalist) government in 1990.

“Taiwan is already a democratic society. It’s natural in such society to have various opinions on the issues,” Huang said.

Against the backdrop, “Taiwan’s future should be decided by the 23 million Taiwan people,” he said.

Including that last great comment about Taiwan’s future. Still contains that common error:

Even though China and Taiwan separated after civil war in 1949, Beijing still considers the island part of its territory and has threatened to retake the island by force if it moves towards independence.

China and the KMT separated in 1949. Taiwan had never been part of China.