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Tsai reaffirms intention to maintain Taiwan's status quo

2015/09/25 14:15:20

DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (right).

Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), chairwoman and presidential candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), reiterated Friday that she will maintain Taiwan's status quo if she is elected president, and said China should heed public opinion in Taiwan in its engagement in cross-Taiwan Strait relations.

Majority opinion in Taiwan favors maintaining the status quo and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, which is in the best interest of all concerned, said Tsai, who is the frontrunner in the lead-up to the January 2016 presidential election.

Tsai said she hopes Beijing authorities would take time to listen to and understand the views of the Taiwan people.

Tsai made the comments a day after Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), chief of the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) under China's State Council, again demanded that she clarify her position on Taiwan's relations with China.

The cross-strait relationship is not one between two countries, or between a separate China and Taiwan, but between two parts of the same country, Zhang said.

That is the fundamental issue that needs to be addressed by whoever wins the Taiwan election, Zhang said, without naming Tsai.

China is wary of the DPP as the party has a clause in its manifesto that calls for the establishment of a new Republic of Taiwan, even though in practice, DPP politicians insist mainly that the future of Taiwan should be decided by its 23 million residents.

Opinion polls have shown that most people in Taiwan favor the status quo without declaring independence, as such a move could provoke military action by China. Most Taiwanese also do not favor unification with the totalitarian neighbor, the polls show.

With four months to go until Taiwan's presidential election, Tsai is leading in the opinion polls against Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), the Kuomintang (KMT) candidate. President Ma Ying-jeou of the KMT will end his maximum two terms in office next May.

(By Sophie Yeh and Jay Chen)
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