President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has reiterated her proposal that Taipei and Beijing create a new model to handle cross-strait relations, which have been at a standstill since her inauguration in May last year.
Taiwan hopes that both sides can begin to think about the matter after the conclusion of the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th National Congress, at which the party’s new leadership is to be elected, Tsai said in an interview with the Central News Agency published yesterday.
The week-long congress is scheduled to begin on Oct. 18.
The two sides of the Taiwan Strait have for many years dealt with their ties based on an established model and guidelines, which to a certain extent have helped maintain cross-strait stability, Tsai said.
However, in view of new international situations, they should consider whether there is a need to examine such old practices and mindsets, she said.
“If we keep sticking to these past practices and ways of thinking, it will probably be very hard for us to deal with the volatile regional situations in Asia,” Tsai said.
Unhappy that Tsai’s government has refused to recognize the so-called “1992 consensus,” Beijing has suspended official dialogue with Taipei since she took office.
The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is only “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Beijing has insisted that the Tsai administration explicitly accept the “1992 consensus” — which in effect says that Taiwan is part of China — as the political foundation for the continuation of relatively warm relations under her predecessor, former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
However, Tsai has only been willing to say that she respects the historical fact that cross-strait talks took place and that some understanding was reached.
Both sides have made considerable efforts to maintain cross-strait stability over the past 16 months, Tsai said, but added that on major political issues, “they feel we have not reached their expectations, but we have already shown the utmost goodwill.”
She reiterated that the viewpoints outlined in her inaugural address would remain her principles in dealing with cross-strait ties.
In her inauguration speech, Tsai promised that her administration would work to maintain the existing mechanisms for dialogue and communication across the Taiwan Strait and would conduct cross-strait affairs in accordance with the Republic of China Constitution, the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) and other relevant legislation.
She also recognized that “there was joint acknowledgement of setting aside differences to seek common ground” in the 1992 talks between representatives of Taipei and Beijing.
In the interview, Tsai said she did not see Premier William Lai’s (賴清德) comments in open support for Taiwanese independence at the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday last week as affecting cross-strait relations.
Lai is fully aware of the government’s overall policy goals and understands very well “what the limits are,” she said.
Regarding the nation’s military readiness, Tsai said the government would increase its defense spending gradually over the next few years to provide the armed forces with stable financial resources to support efforts to develop a plan to increase the nation’s combat capacity in the next decade.
BLUE WAVE: The KMT’s Chiang Wan-an defeated the DPP’s Chen Shih-chung and is to become Taipei mayor, while President Tsai Ing-wen stepped down as DPP chairperson after many of the party’s candidates, handpicked by the leadership, performed poorly The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday flipped key mayoral seats in Taipei, Taoyuan and Keelung, and won control of 13 out of 22 cities and counties in the nine-in-one local elections. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) last night resigned as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson over a poor showing by the party’s candidates, who were handpicked by the DPP leadership rather than chosen through primaries. The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) won its first high-profile race with Hsinchu mayoral candidate Ann Kao (高虹安) defeating Shen Hui-hung (沈慧虹) of the DPP with 45.02 percent of the vote to Shen’s 35.68 percent. Voters were choosing more than
CAUTION: Wearing a mask in crowded places and for people with chronic illnesses or allergies can help prevent COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, the CECC said The mask mandate for outdoor settings is to lifted on Thursday, and the weekly cap on international inbound travelers is to be removed on Dec. 10, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said at its regular news conference yesterday. The center also announced that starting from Friday, children aged five to 11 can receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster, and that rules for visiting hospital patients are to be partially eased from Dec. 10. While wearing a mask will no longer be mandatory outdoors, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝) reminded the public that it would still be required
ANALYSIS: The local elections showed that the KMT is a competitive player, but needs to work at changing its image regarding China, experts said The nine-in-one local election results would bolster the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), but are unlikely to have a major effect on the 2024 presidential election, when cross-strait issues are back in focus, political commentators said. In Saturday’s elections, the KMT won 13 of the 21 cities and counties up for grabs, including four of the country’s six biggest metropolitan areas, where nearly 70 percent of the population lives. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost three of the seven cities and counties it held, although it gained Penghu County. Its poor results prompted President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to announce her resignation as party
PRESS FREEDOM: Britain called reports that a BBC journalist was beaten and detained ‘unacceptable’; China said the reporter did not present his credentials Chinese authorities yesterday eased some COVID-19 rules, but affirmed their severe “zero COVID” strategy after protesters demanded Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) resign in the biggest show of opposition to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in decades. The government made no comment on the protests or the criticism of Xi, but the decision to ease at least some of the restrictions appeared to be aimed at quelling anger. It was not clear how many people were detained since protests began on Friday and spread to cities, including Shanghai and Beijing. The city government of Beijing yesterday announced that it would no longer