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Tsai vows to promote ties with China based on Taiwan people's will

2016/04/27 18:33:55

Taipei, April 27 (CNA) President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) pledged Wednesday that her administration will promote ties with China based on democratic principles and on Taiwanese public opinion.

Tsai made the remarks during a visit to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) to learn more about current cross-Taiwan Strait relations.

During a closed-door meeting with MAC head Hsia Li-yan (夏立言), Tsai said her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration will make every effort to maintain the peaceful and stable status quo in the Taiwan Strait and to develop consistent, predictable and persistent cross-strait ties, according to Alex Huang (黃重諺), head of DPP's department of news and information.

To "maintain the status quo," Tsai said that she will promote cross-strait ties based on democratic principles and in line with Taiwanese public opinion, which she said are policies that are different from those of the current President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) Kuomintang administration.

"I will keep my word and work together with MAC colleagues to achieve the mission," Tsai said.

Tsai, who served as head of the MAC between 2000-2004 under the previous DPP administration of Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), said that Wednesday's visit to the MAC was like "returning home" for her.

In the future, she will work to build a stronger foundation for the development of cross-strait relations, she added.

Asked if the discussion during the meeting touched upon the issue of the "1992 consensus," Huang did not give a definitive answer, saying only that Tsai was briefed on the overall cross-strait exchanges over the past eight years and the latest developments in the Taiwan Strait.

Hsia told the media that during the meeting, he mentioned that the "1992 consensus" was the foundation for the stable development of cross-strait relations over the past eight years.

The meeting was aimed at giving a report to Tsai on major cross-strait issues, Hsia said after the meeting.

In Beijing, meanwhile, An Fengshan (安峰山), spokesman of China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), said at a regular news briefing that cross-strait engagement and negotiations are based on the foundation of the "1992 consensus."

In response to reporters' questions, An said that "the TAO and the MAC have established a regular communication mechanism based on the '1992 consensus' to address major, sensitive issues in cross-strait relations."

This has helped maintain the peaceful development of cross-strait ties and promote exchanges across the strait, he said.

Stressing the importance of the "1992 consensus" as the foundation for peaceful cross-strait relations, An said that "denial of such a political foundation will absolutely lead to changes in the cross-strait status quo."

The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit understanding reached between Taiwanese and Chinese representatives in 1992 that there is only one China, with both sides free to interpret what that means.

It has been a key factor that has enabled the Ma administration to warm up cross-strait interactions and maintain peace and stability across the strait over the past eight years. The DPP, however, has refused to recognize the consensus.

(By Sophia Yeh, Chen Chia-lun, Scarlett Chai and Elaine Hou)
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