Tsai Ing-wen wishes Hsieh best, urges ties with India

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Oct 03, 2012 - Page 3

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday gave her best wishes to former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), who is to depart for China tomorrow on a five-day visit.

Hsieh’s visit has garnered a lot of attention because of his seniority in the DPP, Tsai said in a press release.

“Hopefully, his visit will help consolidate cross-strait relations and move them in a positive direction,” the statement said

Tsai praised Hsieh’s courage in making the trip and called for all parties not to “over interpret” his visit because, since losing the presidential elections in January, the DPP has reached a consensus that it should increase its understanding of China.

The former presidential candidate reiterated that cross-strait engagement should be conducted without preconditions and asserted that the party had been pragmatic in its China policy over the years.

“From the Taiwan Independence Clause through to the 1999 Resolution on Taiwan’s Future, the DPP has always been firm about Taiwan’s sovereignty, but with a pragmatic approach,” she said.

Meanwhile, Tsai outlined her observations about her India, following a recent trip to the South Asian nation, at a press event yesterday afternoon, saying that Taiwan should develop links with the country which could become one of its most important trade and strategic allies in Asia.

Tsai, who visited India for the first time from Sept. 19 to Sept. 28, said the country’s economy is “highly complementary” with Taiwan’s and could be Taiwan’s gateway to Central and Western Asia.

While access to Indian markets would have additional entry costs compared with China, the country — which has a population of 1.22 billion — is worth exploring because of its large markets and democratic history she said.

While reviewing her 10-day trip, Tsai said Taiwan should transform itself from being an inward-looking country — a result of being isolated from the international community for an extended period of time — into an outward-looking nation.

With the US poised to realign its focus toward the Asia-Pacific region, Tsai said that Taiwan should do exactly the same because it has always tended to look to the US, Europe and Japan.

At this turbulent time, Taiwan should re-examine its position in Asia and the relationship it wants to develop with countries in the continent to determine its future direction.

As for China, Taiwan cannot afford to ignore the rising power, but it should also seek a “balance” between engaging its former foe and the rest of the world, Tsai said.