Mon, Nov 26, 2018 - Page 1 News List

MAC urges China not to misjudge vote outcome

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The title and logo of the Mainland Affairs Council are seen on a podium at the council’s Taipei offices in an undated photograph.

Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday urged Beijing to refrain from unilaterally interpreting Taiwanese expectations of cross-strait relations to avoid misjudging the situation after China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that the results from Saturday’s elections reflected the majority’s hopes of benefiting from peaceful ties.

The nine-in-one local elections and 10 referendums held alongside them were an internal affair, and their results are a testament to the mature development of democratic politics, the council said.

“This is at the core of Taiwan’s democratic value, something Beijing should respect and understand accurately,” it said.

“It [China] should neither interfere in our internal affairs, nor unilaterally interpret Taiwanese expectations. Doing so could lead to a misjudgement of cross-strait situations,” the council said.

Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) yesterday said the results, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) winning 15 out of the 22 cities and counties, were an indicator that most people in Taiwan hope to continue enjoying the benefits that the peaceful development of cross-strait relations could bring.

The KMT only won six cities and counties in the 2014 elections.

“We will continue to adhere to the 1992 consensus, staunchly oppose pro-independence separatist forces and activities, and unite the people of Taiwan and bring them on the path of peaceful development of cross-strait ties,” Ma said in Beijing.

More city-to-city exchanges and cooperation across the Taiwan Strait on the basis of a “correct perception of the nature of cross-strait relations and city-to-city exchanges” would be welcomed, he said.

Ma also took a swipe at the initiator of a referendum seeking to rename Taiwan’s Olympic team, saying that its failure showed that it was an unpopular attempt to put the rights of Taiwanese athletes at stake and that the pro-independence movement is doomed to fail.

The referendum only received 4,763,086 “yes” votes, or 24.11 percent of eligible voters. A total of 5,774,556 voted “no.”

“The government has maintained a consistent stance to safeguard the peaceful and stable status quo of the Taiwan Strait and our national sovereignty. This is a consensus shared by the people of Taiwan and the expectation of the international community,” the council said, urging Beijing to face the cross-strait reality pragmatically.

The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and Beijing that both sides acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

The Democratic Progressive Party administration has refused to acknowledge the consensus.

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