Thu, Jun 13, 2019 - Page 3 News List

China government agency praises Ko for ‘bold’ attitude

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je stands explains the Taipei City Government’s public housing policy yesterday.

Photo courtesy of the Taipei City Government

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman An Fengshan (安峰山) yesterday praised Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) for taking a “bold and positive” attitude toward cross-strait relations.

“Mayor Ko Wen-je has viewed cross-strait relations in a bold and positive way, advocating that the ‘two sides of the Strait are one family,’ which means that both sides should respect signed agreements and past interactions, continue to enhance cross-strait relations and together pursue a better future for the people of both sides based on the existing political framework,” An said.

“The two sides belong to ‘one China,’ the people of the two sides are one family and the affairs of the two sides are family affairs,” An added.

“As long as one has a correct understanding of the nature of cross-strait relations and upholds the idea that the ‘two sides of the Strait are one family,’ cross-strait relations can improve and the welfare of Taiwanese compatriots can be enhanced and protected,” he said.

“We praise Ko for making such an effort to enhance the welfare of people on both sides and advance the peaceful development of cross-strait relations,” An said, adding that arrangements for a Shanghai-Taipei twin-city forum would be discussed between Shanghai and Taipei.

“Cross-strait affairs is not diplomatic relations nor international relations, but rather cross-strait relations with an exclusive positioning,” Ko said in an interview with China Review News Agency on Thursday last week.

Ko reiterated in the interview his “five mutual principles” for interacting with China: mutual recognition, understanding, respect, cooperation and consideration of each other’s interests.

Former premier William Lai (賴清德), who is running in the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential primary, on Tuesday urged Ko to renounce his idea that the “two sides of the Strait are one family” and called on Taiwanese not to indulge in fantasies about China, or to believe that they can benefit from such rhetoric.

“It is an undeniable fact that China wants to annex Taiwan,” Lai said. “Ko should take back his remark that the ‘two sides of the Strait are one family’ and stand firmly against the ‘one nation, two systems’ framework so that Taiwan will not become a second Hong Kong.”

Asked for comment yesterday, Ko said that the “two sides” rhetoric is only for expressing friendliness and does not involve politics, adding that if Taiwan is not even willing to express friendly intentions, then there is bound to be trouble.

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