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Tsai hopes Beijing will show more wisdom on cross-strait issues

ROC Central News Agency

2016/10/07 13:25:23

Taipei, Oct. 7 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has expressed hope that China will display more wisdom in resolving its differences with Taiwan and called for cross-strait relations to be dealt with calmly and rationally.

Tsai made the comment in an interview with Yomiuri Shimbun, a Japanese national newspaper, on Thursday. The Presidential Office publicized the content of the interview on Friday.

Tsai said that after she demonstrated Taiwan's flexibility on cross-strait relations in her inauguration speech on May 20, the mainland Chinese side initially adopted a more measured approach.

However, Beijing has recently reverted to its old political tactic of exerting pressure on Taiwan. "We do not think this offers a win-win scenario for both sides," Tsai contended.

The new president reiterated her promise made on May 20 that "we will maintain the status quo and our goodwill."

"(We) hope the two sides will jointly resolve the problems facing us," Tsai said, "but Taiwan and Taiwanese people will not yield in the face of pressure."

Taiwan has no desire to go back to a time when relations between the two sides were antagonistic, Tsai said, explaining that what Taiwan wants is "peaceful relations and cooperation so we can work together to resolve problems."

She further said there might have been certain misunderstandings or misinterpretations in cross-strait relations recently. "This has made us see the need to sit down as soon as possible so we can communicate and address problems."

Tsai urged Beijing to return to its stance shortly after her inauguration, when the two sides were able to handle cross-strait issues calmly and rationally.

"We will be patient, but also hope the other side shows more wisdom," Tsai said.

Tsai also noted that she used her May 20 speech to emphasize that the Republic of China (ROC) government would maintain the status quo of peace and stability in cross-strait relations based on historical facts and the existing political foundation.

The ROC government will handle cross-strait affairs in accordance with "the Republic of China Constitution," "the Act Governing Relations Between the People of Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area" and other relevant legislation, she added.

Tsai said that her government would respect the historical fact that in 1992, the institutions representing Taiwan and China engaged in negotiations that resulted in various joint acknowledgements and understandings.

"We believe that returning to the historical facts demonstrates our goodwill in the face of mainland China's appeals," Tsai said, calling for Beijing to put to one side "the baggage of history" and resolve cross-strait differences through constructive communication and interaction without preconditions.

The two institutions involved in the 1992 negotiations were Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits.

They reached what became known as the 1992 consensus, under which both Taipei and Beijing agreed there is only one China, with the two sides free to interpret its meaning.

China has insisted that the Tsai administration explicitly accept the consensus as the political foundation for the continuation of relatively warm relations under her predecessor Ma Ying-jeou but Tsai would only go so far as to say that she respects the historic fact that the cross-strait talks took place and some understandings were reached.

Tsai has called for China to remove all political preconditions on cross-strait interactions in recent interviews with foreign media outlets after Taiwan was not invited to attend the 2016 assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), held from Sept. 27 to Oct. 7 in Montreal, Canada, likely because of the objections of Beijing. (By Sophia Yeh and Elizabeth Hsu)


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