Siew concluded the meeting by saying that peaceful cross-strait development should be achieved by expanding the two sides’ common interests on the basis of mutual trust and forgiveness.
“I hope both sides can jointly face new global challenges, create a common vision, join forces with other nations in the Asia-Pacific region and endeavor to revitalize the Zhonghua minzu [中華民族, Chinese ethnic group],” Siew said.
In response to the meeting, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said it welcomes China’s active role in promoting regional peace and hoped that it would maintain that mentality in dealing with cross-strait affairs and controversies related to the South China Sea, Department of China Affairs director Honigmann Hong (洪財隆) said.
“However, peace should never be just a pet phrase and empty rhetoric and China must prove that it practices what it preaches,” Hong said.
“Peace without democracy and human rights is unreal and as fragile as a sandcastle,” he added.
Regarding Taiwan’s participation in regional economic integration, Hong said it could “very well be just a wishful thinking” by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.
Former Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) spoke of joint economic cooperation and Taiwan’s economic integration in 2008 and Ma also pledged it as a feasible goal when Taiwan and China signed the ECFA, but that goal never materialized, Hong said.
China has kept up its efforts to squeeze Taiwan out of its international space in the past years, Hong said.