President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), seeking re-election, yesterday again raised questions about Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) proposed “Taiwan consensus,” while promising that he would invite all party leaders every six months to discuss national issues if re-elected.
“I will also make visits to party leaders and discuss issues about which they are concerned, such as what exactly the ‘Taiwan consensus’ means,” he said.
Campaigning in Yilan County in the morning, Ma defended the so-called “1992 consensus” — “one China, with each side having its own interpretation” — which Ma and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) say is a clear and simple principle. Ma accused Tsai of failing to give more substance to her “Taiwan consensus” proposal.
“My ‘Taiwan consensus’ is clear, which is to maintain the ‘three noes’ — no unification, no independence and no use of force — under the constitutional structure. It’s a clear and feasible way of in handling cross-strait relations,” he said.
Ma also challenged the feasibility of Tsai’s proposed coalition government, questioning her sincerity in negotiating the issue with other political parties.
Ma ridiculed Tsai’s initiative, saying the proposal was probably raised because of how difficult it would be for the DPP to win the presidential election and gain a majority in the legislature.
He blamed Tsai for declining his invitations to discuss national affairs with opposition parties soon after he assumed office four years ago, saying her unwillingness to engage in dialogue showed her lack of sincerity in negotiating with party leaders.
“She did not answer any of the seven or eight invitations and only agreed to debate the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement [ECFA] two years ago ... So when she proposed to initiate talks with other parties to form a coalition government, I don’t know whether she means it or not,” he said during a visit to the Suao Fishing Association.
Ma made the remarks in response to Tsai’s proposal that if she were elected, her new administration would include members from different parties as part of her efforts to form a coalition government.
She said her government would adopt a form in which “the premier does not necessarily have to be from the DPP.”