Office repeats commitment to peace across the Strait

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Sep 19, 2017 - Page 3

The Presidential Office yesterday reiterated the nation’s commitment to peaceful cross-strait relations, despite Beijing’s use of its “one China” principle to continue to suppress Taiwan on the international stage.

While answering media queries during a news conference, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) denied Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela’s claim that money had nothing to with his government’s decision to establish diplomatic ties with China.

Huang said it is clear from Beijing’s comments in June, when Panama switched recognition to Beijing, and from Varela’s statement during an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) yesterday that Taipei continues to face diplomatic challenges from Beijing’s manipulation of the “one China” principle and its continued use of checkbook diplomacy to suppress Taiwan internationally.

Varela told CCTV that Panama did not ask for anything from Beijing to establish ties with it.

“I think establishing diplomatic ties with China is the right decision for Panama and its people, and for the benefit of both countries,” he said.

The comments are in stark contrast to what Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said when he broke the news of severed ties with Panama on June 13.

Varela “caved in” to Beijing for economic interests and ignored Taiwan’s long-term assistance, Lee said.

Huang said that Taiwan will continue to work to maintain cross-strait peace, which should be the responsibility and goal of both Taiwan and China.

On the subject of cross-strait exchanges, the spokesman said that politics should not influence cross-strait relations, nor should there be any inappropriate disturbance of each other’s diplomatic efforts.

“Only then can we achieve understanding across the strait and stimulate meaningful development and cooperation between both sides,” he added.

To this end, the administration will continue to make gestures of goodwill to Beijing in the hope of dissolving the animosity, Huang said.