China has stepped up efforts to promote cross-strait unification after the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) government on May 20, Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission Minister Wu Hsin-hsing (吳新興) said yesterday.
Wu said that Beijing has reactivated the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification, a government-backed organization, and has convened a series of meetings with overseas leaders and compatriots in different regions and “openly condemned” Tsai’s government.
“The Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission has taken note of the trend and its development, and is mapping out contingency plans,” Wu said.
Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times
He made the remarks at a legislative hearing in which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) asked if China has been actively wooing overseas Chinese.
The council is chaired by one of China’s top leaders, Yu Zhengsheng (俞正聲), a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee, and chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Tsai and the pro-independence DPP have refused to recognize the so-called “1992 consensus,” which, according to the administration of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese government that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Establishing goodwill across the Strait requires efforts from both sides, DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said, adding that the actions of the council are unhelpful to cross-strait relations and would only work to increase Taiwanese resentment toward China.
DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said that China should spend more time listening to mainstream public opinion in Taiwan and gain a better understanding of what Taiwanese think and want.
Saying there are many overseas leaders and compatriots in different regions who oppose the policies of the People’s Republic of China and identify with the Republic of China (ROC), KMT Legislator John Wu (吳志揚) suggested that the Tsai administration take the initiative and contact overseas leaders and compatriots to explain to them that the government respects the ROC Constitution and identifies with the ROC flag.
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