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Han says no to cross-strait peace treaty unless Beijing renounces force

2019/11/14 22:22

Han Kuo-yu (center)

Taipei, Nov. 14 (CNA) Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) said Thursday that he will not sign a peace treaty with China unless Beijing first renounces the use of force against Taiwan.

Han made the remarks when asked by reporters if he would sign a cross-strait peace agreement if he wins the presidential election in January.

In response, Han said at a media roundtable with foreign press based in Taipei that the precondition for such a peace pact would be the Chinese communists renouncing their threat to use force against Taiwan in its push for unification.

"Therefore, my answer to your question is no, not for the time being," he stressed.

However, Han also said it is important for both sides to engage in official dialogue to avoid miscommunication that could inadvertently lead to conflict.

Such communication channels have apparently not worked since President TsaiIng-wen (蔡英文) assumed office in May 2016, he said.

The Kaohisung mayor also reiterated the KMT's long-held stance that the "1992 consensus" is the key in maintaining cross-strait peace and avoiding conflict.

The "1992 consensus" is a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between the then-KMT government of Taiwan and the Chinese government.

The consensus has been consistently interpreted by the KMT as both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledging there is only "one China" with each free to interpret what "China" means.

However, Beijing has never publicly recognized the second part of the KMT formulation.

Beijing has taken a hardline stance on cross-strait relations since Tsai of the Democratic Progressive Party took office and refused to accept the "1992 consensus."

Meanwhile, commenting on the escalating tension between pro-democracy protesters and police in Hong Kong, Han urged the Hong Kong authorities and Beijing government to immediately engage in dialogue with the people of Hong Kong to calm the situation.

The core issue for Hong Kong people is to achieve universal suffrage for the election of the chief executive and Legislative Council, while Beijing fears Hong Kong protesters are seeking independence from the mainland, he noted.

He called on Beijing to recognize that democracy and freedom are universal values and not something to fear.

The Hong Kong government needs to listen to the people and engage in dialogue to resolve the disputes and restore stability and peace in the Chinese Special Administrative Region, Han said.

The months-long pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong started in June in opposition to a proposed bill that would have allowed the extradition of criminal suspects to China for trial.

While the proposed bill has since been withdrawn, the protests have morphed into a wider movement calling for democratic reforms in the territory, but Beijing and the Hong Kong authorities have refused to accede to any of the protesters' other demands.

(By Joseph Yeh) Enditem/AW