Reiterating her party’s stance on maintaining the “status quo” in cross-strait relations, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday criticized Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) possible attendance at the annual forum between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the KMT, saying Taiwan-China relations were being turned into party-to-party relations.
Asked by the media to comment on a likely encounter between Chu and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at an annual forum hosted by the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) slated for next month, Tsai called for the KMT to differentiate between KMT-CCP exchanges and cross-strait relations, which involve all Taiwanese and are not exclusive to any particular party.
She said that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has handled cross-strait affairs as if they were business between the KMT and CCP, thereby incurring setbacks and provoking public anger.
She called for the KMT not to repeat that mistake by subjugating cross-strait relations to the KMT-CCP framework, which she said would compromise Taiwan’s national interests.
“It is the DPP’s responsibility to maintain stability across the Taiwan Strait,” she said.
Responding to the KMT’s criticism that the DPP has not clarified its China policy and has failed to define the “status quo” that it pledges to maintain, Tsai said that the peaceful and stable relations that Taiwan has developed with China constitute that “status quo.”
However, Tsai said that the pan-blue camp led by the KMT would not be satisfied unless the DPP is squarely on its side, but the DPP and the KMT differ on China policy.
In related news, responding to the DPP’s decision on Thursday to have maintaining the “status quo” across the Strait as its fundamental principle, the US Department of State said yesterday that it welcomes any step to ease tension between the sides of the Taiwan Strait, and would encourage more constructive dialogue between Taipei and Beijing.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) did not directly address the decision, only saying that “recognizing that both sides of the Strait belong to one China is the keystone to cross-strait relations,” and that history has taught that insisting on Taiwanese independence would destabalize ties.