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China's suppression unhelpful to cross-strait ties: President Tsai

2018/08/18 12:25:13

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, right)/CNA file photo

Belize City, Aug. 17 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Friday said China's suppression of Taiwan is unfavorable to cross-Taiwan Strait relations and is going against its goal of becoming a respected nation.

Tsai, who was in Belize as part of her current overseas trip, was commenting on a recent incident in which Taiwan-based 85℃ Bakery Cafe chain was boycotted and labeled as a pro-Taiwan independence company by Chinese netizens after Tsai visited its shop in Los Angeles during a transit stop there Sunday.

The social media uproar forced the company to issue a statement expressing support for the "1992 consensus" that essentially implies Taiwan and mainland China are part of one country.

The move, however, enraged many netizens in Taiwan, who also threatened to boycott the company.

President Tsai described this incident as "regrettable" and unhelpful to the development of cross-strait relations, because the company has been forced to take a political stand, and has failed to please either side.

In the face of such a situation, people in Taiwan should not point their fingers at each other but instead should stand more united for Taiwan's democracy and freedom, she said.

Pointing to China's suppression of Taiwan, Tsai said at a time when China is hoping to become a respected nation and a positive force to lead regional development, it needs to create more amicable interactions and build more mutual trust in the region, including across the Taiwan Strait.

The various actions that have been taken by Beijing to suppress Taiwan, however, are not things that a responsible country should be doing, she argued.

"China should think hard whether what they are doing now is going against their goal," Tsai said.

Belize is the second leg of Tsai's trip that has already taken her to Paraguay, where she attended the inauguration of President-elect Mario Abdo Benitez.

Tsai is scheduled to leave Belize on Saturday for Houston, where she will make a 27-hour stopover before returning to Taiwan.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Y.F. Low)