The key to maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait lies in the hands of China, while reiterating her administration’s willingness to engage in “meaningful dialogue” with Beijing on equal terms, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.
Commenting on cross-strait relations during a national security meeting at the Presidential Office in Taipei, Tsai said Taipei is always willing to push for meaningful cross-strait dialogue on the basis of equal footing “as long as Beijing is willing to resolve antagonisms.”
Taiwan also hopes that once the COVID-19 pandemic is properly contained, people on both sides of the Strait can resume normal exchanges, she said in a press release issued by the Presidential Office.
However, maintaining cross-strait peace is not the responsibility of Taiwan alone, as “the key also lies in the hands of China,” she said.
“History has shown that flexing military muscles toward Taiwan will do little to help improve cross-strait relations,” she said, referring to China’s continuous deployment of military aircraft in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and across the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
As the Chinese-speaking world is about to celebrate the annual Lunar New Year holiday, Tsai also wished Chinese citizens a happy new year, while calling on both sides to jointly promote cross-strait peace and stability.
Taiwan’s relations with its most important ally, the US, have remained solid despite the change in US administrations last month, she said.
Her national security team will be working closely with US President Joe Biden’s administration to enhance bilateral exchanges on various fronts, especially on trade, she said.
Beijing has taken a hardline stance on cross-strait relations and cut off dialogue with Taiwan since Tsai took office in May 2016 and refused to accept the so-called “1992 consensus.”
The “1992 consensus” — a term that 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 Communist Party that both sides of the Strait acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
However, the Democratic Progressive Party has contended that the consensus is “a mere illusion” because China does not recognize the idea that each side is free to interpret “one China” as it sees fit.
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