Reiterating her party’s stance on maintaining the “status quo” in cross-strait relations, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday criticized Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) possible attendance at the annual forum between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the KMT, saying Taiwan-China relations were being turned into party-to-party relations.
Asked by the media to comment on a likely encounter between Chu and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at an annual forum hosted by the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) slated for next month, Tsai called for the KMT to differentiate between KMT-CCP exchanges and cross-strait relations, which involve all Taiwanese and are not exclusive to any particular party.
She said that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has handled cross-strait affairs as if they were business between the KMT and CCP, thereby incurring setbacks and provoking public anger.
She called for the KMT not to repeat that mistake by subjugating cross-strait relations to the KMT-CCP framework, which she said would compromise Taiwan’s national interests.
“It is the DPP’s responsibility to maintain stability across the Taiwan Strait,” she said.
Responding to the KMT’s criticism that the DPP has not clarified its China policy and has failed to define the “status quo” that it pledges to maintain, Tsai said that the peaceful and stable relations that Taiwan has developed with China constitute that “status quo.”
However, Tsai said that the pan-blue camp led by the KMT would not be satisfied unless the DPP is squarely on its side, but the DPP and the KMT differ on China policy.
In related news, responding to the DPP’s decision on Thursday to have maintaining the “status quo” across the Strait as its fundamental principle, the US Department of State said yesterday that it welcomes any step to ease tension between the sides of the Taiwan Strait, and would encourage more constructive dialogue between Taipei and Beijing.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) did not directly address the decision, only saying that “recognizing that both sides of the Strait belong to one China is the keystone to cross-strait relations,” and that history has taught that insisting on Taiwanese independence would destabalize ties.
The coast guard on Friday took a Chinese fishing boat and the 17 people on board into custody, after it rammed into a patrol boat while attempting to flee. A 100-tonne coast guard vessel at about 8am discovered a Chinese fishing boat illegally operating in waters about 11 nautical miles (20.4km) northwest of Hsinchu, the Hsinchu offshore flotilla of the Coast Guard Administration said. The crew refused to allow law enforcement to board the ship and attempted to flee, it added. The coast guard vessel and another ship chased the fishing boat for about a half hour, during which time the Chinese boat
China’s Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has asked foreign consulates in Hong Kong to submit details of their local staff, which is more proof that the “one country, two systems” model no longer exists, a Taiwanese academic said. The office sent letters dated Monday last week to consulates in the territory, giving them one month to submit the information it requires. The move followed Beijing’s attempt to obtain floor plans for all properties used by foreign missions in Hong Kong last year, which raised concerns among diplomats that the information could be used for
‘ABNORMITY’: News of the military exercises on the coast of the Chinese province facing Taiwan were made public by the Ministry of National Defense on Thursday Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills. The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement. The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said that Beijing was trying to “annex” Taiwan, while China said its recent series of drills near Taiwan are aimed at combating the “arrogance” of separatist forces. The Ministry of National Defense earlier this month said that it had observed dozens of Chinese fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby. The increased frequency of China’s military activities has raised the risk of events “getting out of hand” and sparking an accidental clash, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said last week. Asked about the spurt