KMT chairman urges Beijing to end threat of taking Taiwan by force

05/15/2020 10:18 PM
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KMT Chairman Chiang Chi-chen / CNA file photo
KMT Chairman Chiang Chi-chen / CNA file photo

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Chiang Chi-chen (江啟臣) on Friday called on China to stop threatening Taiwan with force and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to better manage relations with Beijing.

Chiang, a three-term legislator who became chairman of the opposition KMT on March 9, made the appeals at a press briefing in Taipei to discuss the challenges facing Taiwan, ahead of Tsai's second term that begins on May 20.

While the KMT is still shaping its cross-Taiwan Strait policy through a reform committee set up in mid-March, Chiang said a few themes in the KMT's future stance are already clear.

Under the KMT administration between 2008 and 2016, Chiang said the party made progress in expanding negotiations between Taiwan and China on the basis of the so-called "1992 consensus," under which the KMT accepts that the two sides are part of one China, with each side free to interpret what "one China" means.

Chiang urged Beijing to remain calm and face the fact of the existence of the Republic of China government in Taiwan, while warning Beijing that there is no market here for Beijing's "one country, two systems" idea.

Beijing should also stop threatening Taiwan with military force, he said.

The KMT will insist on values, including the ROC's existence, freedom, democracy, peace and safety, as well as putting Taiwan first, so that nobody can deride the party as representing Beijing's interests, he said.

Citing the ongoing COVID-19 conoravirus pandemic, the tensions between China and the United States, the pandemic's impact on globalization, and governments' rising debt levels in response to COVID-19, Chiang asked if the incoming government under Tsai has mid- to long-term plans to deal with those challenges.

The KMT leader questioned the Tsai administration's foreign policy of leaning heavily on the U.S., arguing that it has led to greater suppression from China.

Tsai should not underestimate the possibility of Taiwan being dragged into military confrontation and should deal with cross-Strait relations based on the Constitution, he said.

Citing a survey the KMT conducted through the TVBS poll center, Chiang suggested that Tsai pay attention to issues related to economic development, low wages, youth development and labor protections, as a new wave of graduates prepares to enter the workforce in June.

(By Yu Hsiang and Kay Liu) enditem/ls

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