Wed, Nov 11, 2015 - Page 3 News List

MA-XI MEETING: Tsai to target US ties if elected to office in January

OVERTURES:Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan’s endeavors to forge stable relationships with international partners should be separated from party-political interests

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that if elected president in January, she intends to further Taiwan-US relations, adding that she hopes to have exchanges with US Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Tsai made the remarks at a closed-door meeting with former Arkansas governor Mike Beebe at the DPP’s Taipei headquarters, hours before Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) was set to embark on a seven-day visit to the US.

“Taiwan and the US have forged an unshakable friendship based on democracy, freedom and their common interests in maintaining regional peace and stability. Taiwanese also value highly the two nations’ significant ties,” Tsai was quoted as saying in a press release.

Tsai said Taiwan’s endeavors to facilitate stable relationships with its vital international partners should be separated from party-political interests and based on the public’s wishes.

Beebe was quoted as saying that Taipei and Washington not only enjoy close political ties, but are also important to each other in terms of commerce, trade, culture and education.

The former governor also praised the high voter turnout rates in Taiwan’s national elections, which he said demonstrated how much Taiwanese cherished democracy.

Chu’s campaign office said that electing the DPP back into power would only lead to a deterioration in cross-strait relations.

“Tsai has always paid lip service to cross-strait ties. If the DPP returns to power next year, cross-strait relations will be limited to only one outcome: Deterioration,” Chu’s campaign spokesman Lee Cheng-hao (李正皓) said.

Lee was responding to Tsai’s comment on Monday that a national leader should allow the people to have a lot of options and safeguard their right to choose from them freely.

“I believe there are many options regarding cross-strait relations for the public to consider. We should not constrain their right to make their own decisions,” Tsai said, in response to reporters’ questions on whether she agreed with the meaning of the so-called “1992 consensus” as expressed at the landmark meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore on Saturday.

Lee said that the rapprochement in cross-strait ties is the result of the KMT’s relentless negotiations with China and its effort to push for peace and stability based on the “1992 consensus.”

“Given that Tsai has never shown willingness to accept the ‘consensus’ or proposed other principles that might be welcomed by China as an alternative basis for cross-strait exchanges, it is predictable that without any common ground, cross-strait relations would worsen under DPP rule,” Lee said.

Former Mainland Affairs Chairman Su Chi (蘇起) said in 2006 that he made up the term “1992 consensus in 2000.

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