The Republic of China (ROC) is a sovereign nation, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday, after China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) criticized the party for proposing two resolutions on Taiwan-US ties that were unanimously passed by the legislature on Tuesday.
The resolutions state that the government should work to persuade the US to help Taiwan defend itself against China’s threat through diplomatic, economic or security means, and that the focus of the government’s diplomatic efforts with the US should be to work toward the resumption of formal diplomatic ties.
TAO spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮) on Tuesday evening urged “those responsible” in the KMT to “differentiate between right and wrong.”
The KMT must not engage in actions that “harm the fundamental interests of Chinese,” and “the peace and stability of cross-strait relations,” Zhu told reporters.
The KMT certainly knows the difference between right and wrong, as safeguarding the ROC’s existence and sovereignty, and protecting peace and security in the Taiwan Strait, brings the most benefit to people, Chiang told host Anne Wang (王淺秋) on her Broadcasting Corp of China (中廣) program yesterday.
Beijing always says it wants to win over public sentiment, but according to polls, more than half of Taiwanese want the US to help raise the nation’s international standing, he said, urging Beijing to understand and show mutual respect.
Whether other nations want to establish relations is up to them, Taiwan only wants an equal standing internationally, he said.
“Otherwise, why have a Ministry of Foreign Affairs?” Chiang added.
More than half of Taiwanese think the US should help defend Taiwan, so the KMT’s proposal was a reflection of public sentiment, Chiang said, adding that if the KMT were in power, tensions would not be so high.
Surveys have shown that international sentiment toward China is worsening, but this is not a sudden development, Chiang said.
This is a warning to Beijing, which should consider how to improve its image, he added.
Asked by reporters whether restoring formal Taiwan-US ties would harm cross-strait relations, Chiang said: “Everyone forgets that Taiwan and the US used to have diplomatic relations.”
“The main goal of the resolutions is to normalize Taiwan-US relations,” he said.
“Close with the US, peace with the Mainland” has always guided KMT policy, he said.
KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) also pushed back against the TAO’s comments.
“We wish for stability in the Strait. Who is the one disrupting the peace? We raised these proposals in the hopes that the other side would clearly see that blindly intimidating Taiwan would only make it move further away,” he wrote on Facebook.
Additional reporting by Chen Yun
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