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President Tsai calls for unity amid severing of diplomatic ties

2018/05/25 23:41:18

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Friday expressed regret over the severing of diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Burkina Faso, calling on all parties in the country to stand united amid China's continuing "oppression."

Meanwhile, Tsai also expressed regret that the opposition party in Taiwan continues to criticize the ruling party, while remaining tolerant of China's suppression.

"It is regrettable that an ally has chosen to leave us, but what's even more regrettable is that internally, Taiwan fails to stand up in unity," Tsai said.

She said the opposition party will always remain critical of the government every time China finds a way to suppress Taiwan.

In the last two years, Taiwan has seen a significant improvement in relations with the United States, Japan, and like-minded nations in Europe, she said, trends which have made China even more agitated.

"The atrocious actions by China aimed at denigrating our sovereignty are testing our bottom line," the president said, reiterating that oppression will serve only to strengthen the country's resolve to be part of the wider world.

As President, Tsai said her most important mission is to preserve the pride and dignity of the Taiwanese people, and that the country will never back down in its commitment to strengthening relationships with its allies.

She again called on all parties in Taiwan to stand up in unity as China continues to exert pressure on the country.

"We only have one stance, and that is to unite as one when confronted with outside oppression," she said.

Earlier on Friday, the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) criticized the government for the rupture of relations with the African nation, saying the political ideology of President Tsai's administration has led Taiwan into a corner and instead she should apologize to the people of Taiwan for her misguided foreign policy.

KMT Spokesman Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) criticized the ruling party for not taking the responsibility for its actions, and instead choosing to put the blame on the opposition parties, including the KMT.

"Such behavior will only let the people down," Hung said.

Meanwhile, ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Spokeswoman Rosalia Wu (吳思瑤) responded to the KMT's criticism by questioning how the opposition party could side with Beijing and help the enemy fight against their own country.

The KMT, however, has pointed out that prior to the DPP coming into power, Taiwan only lost one diplomatic in the eight years of KMT rule. It is believed that China at the time refrained from establishing diplomatic ties with Taiwan's allies, even when some wanted to switch ties to China, because then-President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the KMT accepted the 1992 Consensus, under which both sides agree there is one China, with each side free to define what that means.

Hung emphasized that the DPP could not find a solution to resolving the current strained relations between the two sides of the Strait, and continues to let the country lose its diplomatic allies.

"Besides knee-jerk blaming others, can we really come up with some means to let the people understand the next steps?" Hung said. "Can't the DPP guarantee to the people that before the expiration of Tsai Ing-wen's term in office, there be no more countries breaking diplomatic relations with us? The DPP government, please face up to the problem, handle the problem, and if you fail to do so, you should take full responsibility."

(By Yeh Su-ping and Ko Lin)
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