Kaoshiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) would like to have a debate with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on cross-strait policy as soon as possible, the Chinese National Party (KMT) presidential candidate’s advisory team said yesterday, but Tsai’s campaign office said the debates should cover more topics than just cross-strait affairs.
Cross-strait policy is key to Taiwan’s survival and economic development, team spokeswoman Huang Man-hsin (黃曼昕) said.
Taiwanese are tired of politicians’ shouting matches and need a constructive policy debate on cross-strait issues, she said.
“President Tsai and the Democratic Progressive Party, stop making empty statements. That is not what people want,” Huang said. “[Han] sincerely hopes to have a debate with you on cross-strait policy. You can pick the time and place, but it should be as soon as possible, because people do not have time to wait any longer.”
There are more options for cross-strait relations other than flight and surrender, she said.
“We insist on a middle-of-the-road approach which would ensure dignity,” she said.
Han on Thursday released a cross-strait policy white paper, in which he criticized Tsai’s handling of cross-strait issues.
Han’s cross-strait policy would ensure peace as well as buy more time, space and opportunities for Taiwan, Huang said.
Han’s paper says he would defend the nation’s sovereignty by insisting on the “1992 consensus” and opposing China’s “one country, two systems” policy, and he would rebuild cross-strait trust and dialogue and promote China’s democratization to ensure cross-strait peace.
Then KMT-legislator Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted that he made up the term “1992 consensus” in 2000, when he was chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council.
Tsai’s campaign office said the candidates should certainly hold debates, but on more than just cross-straits affairs, and they should be held according to the campaign timetable as stipulated by law.
However, as the Kaohsiung City Council is in session, Han’s most important debate now is with the city council and defending his administration’s performance, it said.
Meanwhile, Han’s campaign office spokeswoman Ho Ting-huan (何庭歡) yesterday reiterated that no dates have been set for his nationwide campaign trip.
Additional reporting by Yang Chun-hui
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