Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Tsai vows ‘consistent’ cross-strait ties

‘STATUS QUO’:Tsai Ing-wen pledged ‘peaceful, stable’ cross-strait relations and said she would push for a cross-strait oversight mechanism and a new development model

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

“As Asia faces rising nationalism and the threat of military conflict, we intend to engage in proactive peace diplomacy that fosters peace and stability, with the spirit of giving and sharing,” Tsai said.

She said that the DPP was ready to undertake a new model of economic development based on innovation, “as well as to implement a community-based social safety net to compliment the traditional family-based care systems.”

Tsai said that the party was crafting a new Asian value in Taiwan to serve as an example and inspiration to others, and that it was ready to “light up Taiwan, light up Asia.”

She said she was ready to deal with rising domestic and external challenges ranging from the gradual erosion of freedom and democracy to an increasing uncertainty over Taiwan’s ability to maintain its economic autonomy.

“For most Taiwanese, the state of our economy is a source of great distress as it has stagnated for some time and has lost momentum for growth,” Tsai said.

She said the economic slowdown had hit the younger generation in particular and that finding a new economic way forward would be the foremost priority of the DPP.

The primary objective would be to reshape Taiwan’s economic competitiveness by shifting from an efficiency-driven model to an innovation-driven one.

Tsai said that she would build a strategic partnership with the US on economic cooperation and that there was an urgent need for Taiwan to participate in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“For Taiwan’s economy to be more competitive and our democracy stronger, we need to build a military capable of safeguarding the country and maintaining peace,” she said.

To be a reliable partner on regional security, she said that proper investment in “credible deterrence” was key.

Tsai said that she would secure the resources necessary to provide adequate training and education for the active and reserve forces.

“In addition to foreign acquisition of defense systems and platforms, I am committed to more investment in indigenous defense programs, including research and development to meet our long-term defense needs,” she said.

Tsai said that Taiwan had a special political, security, economic and cultural bond with the US, but that Taiwan should not take the relationship for granted.

“I will ensure that Taiwan works together with the US to advance our common interests and by having a proactive diplomatic agenda for peace,” she said.

In related news, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) yesterday said that Taiwan’s president is elected by its people and that a recent remark by Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai (崔天凱) implying that Tsai must meet the approval of the Chinese people was inappropriate.

Cui on Tuesday reportedly said that Tsai should pass the test of the 1.3 billion people in China by accepting the “one China” principle.

Asked to comment on the issue, Lin said Cui’s remarks were “quite inappropriate.”

Additional reporting by CNA

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