Sat, Jul 08, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Relationship with China ‘one between friends’: Lai

Staff writer, with CNA

Tainan Mayor William Lai, right, gestures during a radio interview in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) yesterday described the nation’s relationship with China as one between friends, but added that he advocates Taiwanese independence.

Lai, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said his stance on cross-strait relations is clear, which is in favor of “Taiwanese independence and that stance will not change no matter what position I hold.”

However, he said his attitude toward China is friendly and his strategy is flexible, adding that he would seek common ground and put aside differences in cross-strait exchanges to enhance bilateral understanding.

He was asked during a radio interview about the differences between his approach to China and that of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), an independent.

Both mayors have made friendly remarks about China over the past few weeks.

Lai spoke of “feeling an affinity toward China while loving Taiwan,” while Ko, during a visit to Shanghai to attend a twin-city forum, said “both sides are of a family.”

Lai yesterday said Ko defined cross-strait ties as a relationship between a couple, while he defined them as between friends.

What they have in common is that neither accepts the so-called “1992 consensus,” Lai said.

The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

“Taiwanese independence is the broadest consensus in Taiwanese society,” Lin said.

The “1992 consensus” and the efforts to have the DPP abandon its pro-independence platform or sign a cross-strait peace agreement are all ploys used by China to divide Taiwan with the aim of annexing the nation, Lai said.

He also described cross-strait relations as international relations and said that when deciding on the nation’s direction, the goal should be maximizing the welfare of the public rather than moving within boundaries set by big powers.

“China is not to be feared. What is to be feared is that we cannot unite,” he said.

Regarding former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) remark that Chinese authorities “will not accept or be happy with” Lai feeling an affinity toward China while loving Taiwan, Lai said the remark reflected Ma’s problem.

“Ma cares too much about whether China is happy and ignores the will of Taiwanese,” Lai said.

This story has been viewed 3404 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top