The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday urged Beijing to refrain from unilaterally interpreting Taiwanese expectations of cross-strait relations to avoid misjudging the situation after China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that the results from Saturday’s elections reflected the majority’s hopes of benefiting from peaceful ties.
The nine-in-one local elections and 10 referendums held alongside them were an internal affair, and their results are a testament to the mature development of democratic politics, the council said.
“This is at the core of Taiwan’s democratic value, something Beijing should respect and understand accurately,” it said.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
“It [China] should neither interfere in our internal affairs, nor unilaterally interpret Taiwanese expectations. Doing so could lead to a misjudgement of cross-strait situations,” the council said.
Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) yesterday said the results, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) winning 15 out of the 22 cities and counties, were an indicator that most people in Taiwan hope to continue enjoying the benefits that the peaceful development of cross-strait relations could bring.
The KMT only won six cities and counties in the 2014 elections.
“We will continue to adhere to the 1992 consensus, staunchly oppose pro-independence separatist forces and activities, and unite the people of Taiwan and bring them on the path of peaceful development of cross-strait ties,” Ma said in Beijing.
More city-to-city exchanges and cooperation across the Taiwan Strait on the basis of a “correct perception of the nature of cross-strait relations and city-to-city exchanges” would be welcomed, he said.
Ma also took a swipe at the initiator of a referendum seeking to rename Taiwan’s Olympic team, saying that its failure showed that it was an unpopular attempt to put the rights of Taiwanese athletes at stake and that the pro-independence movement is doomed to fail.
The referendum only received 4,763,086 “yes” votes, or 24.11 percent of eligible voters. A total of 5,774,556 voted “no.”
“The government has maintained a consistent stance to safeguard the peaceful and stable status quo of the Taiwan Strait and our national sovereignty. This is a consensus shared by the people of Taiwan and the expectation of the international community,” the council said, urging Beijing to face the cross-strait reality pragmatically.
The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and Beijing that both sides acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
The Democratic Progressive Party administration has refused to acknowledge the consensus.
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
COUNTER DISINFORMATION: More engagement and media literacy are needed to push back against misinformation and claims that the US is an unreliable partner, the AIT director said The US is “confident” that Taiwan does not face an imminent threat of a Chinese invasion, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk told a US public radio show, adding that Washington remains committed to defensively arming the nation. She made the comment during an interview on All Things Considered, broadcast on Friday on US-based National Public Radio. “There is an important distinction between making plans and training troops, and getting ready to do something,” Oudkirk said, on whether she thinks Beijing plans to attack Taiwan in the near future. Chinese officials have told Washington that “their preference is for peaceful reunification,
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of