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Tsai urges China to see her goodwill, be flexible

ROC Central News Agency

2016/06/30 11:55:47

Asuncion, Paraguay, June 29 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) called Wednesday during her first overseas trip as head of state for understanding and flexibility from China in efforts to make progress in relations across the Taiwan Strait.

"(I've) demonstrated our maximum goodwill and flexibility" in her May 20 inauguration speech, Tsai said, expressing her hope that China can read it more thoroughly and be more flexible in its thinking.

This will allow both sides of the Taiwan Strait to achieve progress in their relations and maintain stability, which will be "best for everyone," the president added.

Tsai made the remarks in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion when anwering questions from reporters traveling with her on her first overseas trip since taking office May 20.

The president was responding to comments made by An Fengshan (安峰山), a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), in Beijing earlier in the day, in which he blamed Taiwan for China's suspension of bilateral contact and communication.

According to An, suspension of communication between the TAO and Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), and between the quasi-official Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) of Taiwan and its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), was caused by the Tsai administration's refusal to recognize the "1992 Consensus."

In her inauguration speech, Tsai said she respects the historical fact of various joint acknowledgments and understandings reached in talks between the two sides since 1992, but did not mention the exact words "1992 Consensus," under which both sides of the Taiwan Strait recognize that there is only one China, but are free to adopt their own interpretations of that concept.

Tsai said Wednesday that a resumption of communication between the SEF and ARATS is an important element in maintaining the stability of cross-strait relations.

"It is a common responsibility of everyone to maintain peace and stability between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Not only we and mainland China need to take the main responsibility, but I hope that all parties in the region that have invested interest in cross-strait peace can offer help and make their maximum efforts," she said.

Meanwhile, the president said the time has not yet come to consider the appointment of a new chairman of the SEF, despite recent discussions that have linked Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) to the post.

Vice Minister of Science and Technology Chen Ter-shing (陳德新) was named as acting chairman of the SEF in mid-May before Tsai took office, and has held the post since then.

(By Sophia Yeh and Kay Liu)
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