Despite widespread criticism across the political spectrum of Saturday’s planned meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), People First Party (PFP) presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) yesterday said he supported the pursuit of peaceful cross-strait ties and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
“While the process for setting the Ma-Xi meeting lacked transparency and has unsettled all sectors of society, it has been the consistent policy of the PFP and myself to strive for peaceful and stable cross-strait development,” Soong said in a statement.
Soong said the party would not relinquish its pursuit of peace, equal exchanges and mutual respect across the Taiwan Strait simply because of the public’s discontent with Ma’s “coalition administration” with his top aide, former National Security Council secretary-general King Pu-tsung (金溥聰).
The historic summit between Ma and Xi in Singapore in their capacity as leaders on either side of the Taiwan Strait would be conducive to stabilizing the fragile situation in East Asia and defusing the long-term confrontation between Taipei and Beijing, Soong said.
“This is a breakthrough in cross-strait ties,” he said, adding that his party does not oppose such a meeting, but would adopt a more discreet attitude when seeking to further peaceful exchanges between the two sides.
Soong founded the PFP after losing the 2000 presidential race, in which he ran as an independent after failing to obtain the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) nomination.
Soong urged the Ma administration to provide the legislature and the public with a detailed account of its negotiations with China in arranging the meeting.
Soong called on Ma and Xi to issue an apology over China’s 1895 cession of Taiwan to Japan without regard for the opposition from Taiwanese and the Chinese Civil War between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party, which tore apart tens of millions of families and cost many lives.
“They should jointly shoulder the responsibility for the historical pains inflicted by their ancestors, to assuage the sufferings of Taiwanese who fell victim to the enslavement of the Japanese or were forced to flee their homes and live apart from their families in China,” Soong said.
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