Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday urged the incoming Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) government to maintain cross-strait peace and stability, saying it not only serves Taiwan’s national interests but is also the US’ top expectation of president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration, to be inaugurated on May 20.
Wu made the remarks when receiving a delegation of US specialists on East Asian security at the Presidential Office Building yesterday morning.
Among the delegation were Brookings Institution Center for East Asia Policy Studies director Richard Bush, Center for Strategic and International Studies senior adviser Bonnie Glaser, Stimson Center East Asia program director Alan Romberg and US National Defense University Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs director Phillip Saunders.
In a nation that has experienced three transfers of power such as Taiwan, elections have become a normal practice, Wu said in a speech.
“Our nation’s new president and vice president were elected on Jan. 16 and are set to be sworn in on May 20. We are like runners in a relay race. After finishing our part, the people will choose the next team to whom we should pass the baton,” Wu said.
Wu said while it is the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) turn to take a backseat, members would continue to support and cheer for the new administration, because Taiwan would only prosper if every participant in the race “runs fast and steady.”
Shortly after January’s election, the US Department of State issued a statement congratulating Taiwanese for demonstrating the strength of their robust democratic system, Wu said.
“While the US praised our nation’s democratic development, it also encouraged continued dialogue between both sides of the Taiwan Strait and the maintenance of the current peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Wu said.
“Maintaining stable cross-strait ties so that the US is at ease and there are no surprises is not only in our best interests, but is also what the US looks for most,” Wu said.
Calling the so-called “1992 consensus” and “one China, with different interpretations” the wisest words of the past six decades, Wu said it is President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) policy of “no unification, no independence and no use of force” that has enabled peaceful and stable cross-strait ties.
“Such an achievement is not something that falls from the sky,” Wu added.
The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 when he was head of the council, refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese government that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Wu also urged Taiwanese to refrain from clinging to wishful thinking by believing that if Taiwan declared independence and engaged in a military conflict against China, the US would intervene and send troops.
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