Sun, May 19, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Ties with China should be as ‘neighbors,’ Ko says

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je wades among white water snowflake stems at a farm in Kaohsiung’s Meinong District yesterday.

Photo: Su Fu-nan, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday called for a cross-strait relationship like that between “neighbors.”

Ko made the remarks in response to reporters who asked for comment on Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) statement on Friday that the so-called “1992 consensus” and “opposition to Taiwanese independence” were a “compass” or “magic stabilizer.”

The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 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.

“The US-China [trade] situation is akin to two adults fighting. The children should get out of the way to avoid getting kicked or punched,” Ko said during a visit to Kaohsiung’s Meinong District (美濃).

He would not change his idea that “befriending the US and being friendly to China” would be a good diplomatic strategy, Ko said, adding that while Taiwan should stand with the US and Japan, as their values more closely align with Taiwan’s, the nation should not make vicious remarks about Beijing.

“The two sides have been apart for more than 70 years and barriers do exist,” Ko said. “Even if neighbors do not visit each other frequently, they do not need to insult each other.”

Many things are mere labels, including the “1992 consensus,” he said.

Ko said that he has asked Chinese what the “1992 consensus” is and they could not clearly explain it either, so “seemingly the interpretations of the consensus have changed and everyone has their own idea.”

Although Ko has not confirmed whether he will run for president next year, he has visited areas outside Taipei this year, including Taichung and Changhua last weekend.

However, he brushed off questions on a possible entry into the race, saying that people should not think too much.

He takes opportunities to travel and learn, and talking to people from other areas is interesting, he said.

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