The Republic of China (ROC) is an independent, sovereign country and the future of Taiwan rests in the hands of its people, the Presidential Office (PO) said yesterday.
The office issued the statement in response to a remark by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday that Beijing sought the “peaceful reunification” of Taiwan and China under a policy of “one country, two systems,” with recognition of the so-called “1992 consensus.”
Speaking at an event commemorating the 110th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution, Xi added that the “Taiwan issue is an internal issue and Beijing would not brook outside intervention.”
Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters
The 1911 Xinhai Revolution, led by Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙), toppled the Qing Dynasty and ended imperial rule in China with the formation of the ROC.
Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said the Xinhai Revolution created the basis for a democratic republic, not an autocracy.
The mainstream public opinion in Taiwan is clear in rejecting China’s “one country, two systems” model, he added.
It is the responsibility of all nations in the region to maintain peace and stability, not only in the Strait, but throughout the region, he said.
The Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement that the Chinese Communist Party often praises Sun, while ignoring that the Xinhai Revolution led to the founding of the ROC, which remains in Taiwan.
The day marking the revolution is also celebrated as the ROC’s national day, the council said, adding that the establishment of the first republic in Asia was the life’s work of Sun and many others.
Beijing’s staid cross-strait policy ignores the shift in global attitude regarding the region and the strong opposition against such a policy by Taiwanese, the council said.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in a statement said it has always upheld and defended the spirit of the Xinhai Revolution, which is to give people democracy, freedom and justice.
If the Chinese Communist Party holds Sun in such high regard, it should acknowledge the ROC’s existence, and respect the differences on each side of the Strait and the opinion of the Taiwanese public, it said.
If both sides can seek common ground while respecting their differences, then there is a chance for cross-strait relations to thaw, it said.
The KMT said it hopes the universal values enjoyed by Taiwanese — democracy, respect for human rights, rule of law and freedom — can be implemented in China.
“Today’s democratic Taiwan can be tomorrow’s free China,” it added.
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 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.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang
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