Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that she would not rule out visiting Beijing and meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) if she wins the Jan. 16 election.
Asked by reporters whether she would visit Beijing if invited, given the widespread public criticism of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) planned meeting with Xi in Singapore tomorrow, especially from the pan-green camp, Tsai said: “There are just over 70 days left until the election and considering the atmosphere in society, I think the possibility of my visiting Beijing is not too high, but if I am elected next year, if the conditions that I mentioned before — including openness and transparency, equality and dignity, and no politics are met — I would not rule out the possibility.”
However, Tsai took a tougher tone commenting on Ma’s press conference at the Presidential Office yesterday morning and his remark that tomorrow’s meeting would create the basis to “build a bridge” for future meetings and interactions between the leaders of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
“If Taiwan’s society and its leader do not create the necessary mechanism, and follow the necessary procedures to allow society to take part in the decisionmaking process on major decisions, allowing parliamentary supervision and having transparency of information, then even if there is a bridge, it is not a concrete and stable one,” Tsai said on the sidelines of a campaign event in Penghu County.
The public does not have a problem with cross-strait interactions and meetings of top leaders unless opaqueness becomes an issue, she said.
Later yesterday, DPP Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said during a radio interview that the DPP would not organize a “supervisory group” to monitor Ma when he is in Singapore, as the party did in 1993 when then-Straits Exchange Foundation chairman Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫) and China’s then-Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits chairman Wang Daohan (汪道涵) held a meeting in Singapore.
Taipei on Friday rejected Hanoi’s characterization of its recent live-fire drill near Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) as “illegal,” saying that Taiwan’s claim to the small island in the South China Sea was “unquestionable.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement that the comments made by its Vietnamese counterpart about the military’s routine live-fire drills near Itu Aba on Tuesday were “unacceptable.” Earlier on Friday, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang called Taiwan’s military activity “a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty,” saying it had caused tensions and complicated the situation in the region. Hang
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