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President urged to clarify China policy in National Day talk

ROC Central News Agency

2016/10/08 18:35:31

Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) With National Day just two days away, politicians across the political spectrum urged President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Saturday to use her National Day address to explain her policy on cross-Taiwan Strait relations.

Chiang Chi-chen (江啟臣), a whip of the Kuomintang legislative caucus, said it is unlikely that Tsai mentions "one China" or the "1992 consensus" in her address.

But as a president sworn in under the Republic of China Constitution, she can use the opportunity to declare that "one China" refers to the ROC (Taiwan's formal name), Chiang said.

He said the Tsai administration needs to find a way to break the current deadlock with Beijing before Taiwan can continue to expand its foreign relations.

Unhappy that Tsai's government has refused to recognize the "1992 consensus," Beijing has suspended official dialogue with Taipei since Tsai was sworn in on May 20.

The consensus refers to an understanding reached between Taipei and Beijing in 1992 that there is only one China, with the two sides free to interpret its meaning.

Beijing has insisted that the Tsai administration explicitly accept the consensus -- and in effect that Taiwan is part of "one China" -- as the political foundation for the continuation of relatively warm relations under her predecessor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

Tsai, however, has only been willing to say that she respects the historic fact that the cross-strait talks took place and that some understandings were reached.

Over the past few days, Tsai has repeatedly stressed in public speeches and media interviews that her administration will not succumb to Beijing's pressure but will also not revert to the old path of confrontation, either.

Tsai said she has shown a high level of good will toward Beijing in her inaugural address and that her good will and commitment toward cross-strait relations remain unchanged.

Chen Chia-lin (陳嘉霖), deputy publicity director of the pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), said the National Day address will be the best opportunity for Tsai to unveil her strategy to counter China's suppression of Taiwan.

Chen said Tsai has adopted a moderate and ambiguous approach on cross-strait ties to avoid overly provoking Beijing since her inauguration.

But instead of helping Tsai achieve her goal of maintaining the cross-strait status quo, such a policy of "moderately resisting China" will only encourage Beijing to escalate its suppression of Taiwan, he argued.

One step Tsai can take to counter China would be to announce an alliance with other Asian countries that are also threatened by China's hegemony, such as Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Myanmar, he contended.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Y.F. Low)

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