Wed, Nov 11, 2015 - Page 3 News List

MA-XI MEETING: Eric Chu pleas for issue-based election

’POSITIVE ANGLE’:The KMT presidential candidate said the Ma-Xi meeting ‘improved cross-strait peace and development,’ adding that it should not be victim to ‘polarization’

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu yesterday speaks to reporters following a meeting with US Representative Matt Salmon at the party’s headquarters in Taipei.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday urged his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rival Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and her party to refrain from reducing January’s election to a unification-independence battle.

“Despite the fact that we are in the midst of an election campaign, I must ask Chairperson Tsai and the DPP: Is it really in the party’s best interests to turn the election into a battle over unification and independence? Is it good for Taiwan?” Chu said on Facebook.

Chu made the remarks amid harsh criticism from opposition parties, including the DPP, over the meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore on Saturday.

They have equated Ma’s omission of the “different interpretations” component to the so-called “1992 consensus” at the meeting to an erosion of Taiwan’s sovereignty claims.

The “1992 consensus” refers to a supposed tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese government that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

Critics of the consensus point to an admission in February 2006 by former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) that he made up the term in 2000.

Chu, who was due to depart for the US for a seven-day visit last night, said he was delighted to see the US government’s public recognition of the historic meeting.

The US is a vital partner of Taiwan and Washington-Taipei ties are as important to the nation as cross-strait relations, Chu said, adding that during his trip he would reiterate Taiwan’s determination to continue playing a stabilizing role in regional peace and security affairs.

Separately yesterday, Chu told a press conference after meeting with US Representative Matt Salmon at the KMT’s headquarters in Taipei that the US Congress placed great importance on the Ma-Xi meeting and saw it as a significant milestone in peaceful cross-strait ties.

“The purpose of my visit is to convey [my inclination] for future Taiwan-US cooperation and of course, cross-strait relations are to be discussed... I also plan to exchange opinions with US representatives on recent events occurring across the Taiwan Strait,” Chu said.

As for the Ma-Xi meeting, Chu said the US was certainly concerned about the matter and that he would brief Washington on the KMT’s stance.

Chu shrugged off DPP criticism of the Ma-Xi meeting, saying that a national leader must look at events from a macroscopic perspective.

“The last thing I want to see is Taiwan heading toward polarization... The Ma-Xi meeting has improved cross-strait peace and development, as well as Taiwan’s international status. We must look at it from a positive angle,” Chu said.

Tsai yesterday reiterated her plan to maintain the cross-strait “status quo” if elected, which includes maintaining the status of Taiwanese democracy, peaceful cross-strait development, and interactions between cross-strait leaders in an equal, dignified and transparent manner.

“I believe Chairman Chu would agree with the notion that there is no ‘blue or green’ in democracy or in public opinion and would pledge his support to the construction of cross-strait ties based on these tenets,” Tsai said, urging Chu not to reduce the Jan. 16 race into a blue-green fight along traditional battle lines.

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