Tue, May 15, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Tsai urges PRC to rebuild mutual trust

MEETING OF THE MINDS:There is a need for the two sides to advance their two-way communication, but the truth must be explored based on facts, the president said

Staff writer, with CNA

Hit FM radio host Clara Chou, left, yesterday interviews President Tsai Ing-wen on her breakfast show.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday called for a rebuilding of basic mutual trust with China, and reiterated that she would like to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), as long as such a meeting is based on reciprocity, with no political conditions.

“The two sides should rebuild basic mutual trust and sit down and talk given the overall international situation,” Tsai told political commentator Clara Chou (周玉蔻) during an interview on Hit FM radio. “Now that South and North Koreas have done so, I think Taiwan and mainland China should also engage in detailed communication.”

“Although there have been cross-strait exchanges in the private sector, I think there is a need for the two sides to advance and deepen two-way communication,” she said.

Asked in the radio interview why she is unwilling to back the so-called “1992 consensus” while acknowledging that a cross-strait meeting took place in 1992, Tsai said: “We must explore the truth based on facts.”

“It is a fact that Taiwan and mainland China held a meeting that year, the results of which were interpreted differently by the two sides,” she said. “Maybe the ‘1992 consensus’ contains other explanations, but the question is whether the people of Taiwan can accept them or whether China can accept the KMT’s interpretation.”

“To me, it is an issue that could jeopardize our sovereignty and I will not compromise,” she said.

While Beijing sees the supposed consensus as the political foundation for cross-strait exchanges, the Democratic Progressive Party has refused to endorse it.

Representatives of the Straits Exchange Foundation and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait met in Hong Kong from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30, 1992. No statements were made by either side after the meeting, although each side did issue statements about the talks over the following two months.

Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) said in 2006 that he had made up the term “1992 consensus” in 2000 to refer to a supposed 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.

Asked if Premier William Lai’s (賴清德) description of himself as a “pragmatic worker for Taiwan independence” had prompted the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force to send aircraft on missions circling Taiwan in recent months, Tsai told Chou that Lai is an “honest man.”

“The mainland should know that Taiwan is a democratic society, and it should understand that different opinions can be aired freely in an open society before a consensus could be forged,” she said.

Asked about her falling approval ratings, Tsai said opinion polls did not bother her, because “what counts is whether you have done your best to achieve your goal.”

A poll released yesterday by the Chinese-language United Daily News found that 56 percent of respondents disapproved of Tsai’s performance, up from 50 percent a year ago, while 29 percent approved, down from 30 percent a year ago.

On specific issues, 56 percent of respondents said they were not satisfied with her performance on cross-strait relations and 62 percent were unhappy with her performance on the economy.

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