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Accumulating goodwill will help cross-strait ties: president

ROC Central News Agency

2016/06/30 11:48:47

Asuncion, Paraguay June 29 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Wednesday that if the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can work to accumulate goodwill, it would help improve cross-strait ties and create harmony in the relationship.

In response to reporters' questions on the China Airlines (CAL) charter flight that flew her to Panama over Cuban airspace several days ago, Tsai said that in line with precedent, CAL filed an application for the flight route and the request was approved by the relevant authorities.

"According to my understanding, it was a move in accordance with precedent. It's not clear to me if China was involved in the case," Tsai said, when asked if China had shown some goodwill behind the move, since Cuba is a country close to China, and if the move represented a breakthrough in cross-strait relations.

But "if China did play a role, that could be seen as a kind of goodwill," said Tsai, speaking from Paraguay on the second and final leg of her first overseas trip since taking office May 20.

If both sides of the strait can make efforts to accumulate goodwill, it would be helpful in dealing with cross-strait relations and in creating harmony in bilateral ties, she said when meeting with Taiwanese reporters traveling with her.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the flight carrying Tsai and her entourage overflew Cuba on the way to Panama, one of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in Central America.

Tsai's flight over Cuba while heading for Panama City from Miami in the United States June 25 was the first time that a presidential flight of the Republic of China had flown through Cuban airspace, according to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Wu Chih-chung (吳志中).

For two countries, it is usual international practice to mutually allow flights over their respective airspaces.

The Foreign Ministry had authorized CAL, which planned the flight route of Tsai's overseas tour, to negotiate with Cuba, Wu said, adding that the ministry did not intervene in the matter.

Tsai will depart Paraguay Thursday for Los Angeles, where she will stay overnight before heading home to Taiwan July 1. She is due back in Taiwan on July 2.

During the nine-day trip to two of Taiwan's diplomatic allies, Tsai first made a overnight transit stop in Miami.

(By Sophia Yeh and Elaine Hou)

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