No mutual trust across Taiwan Strait: China scholars

05/20/2020 10:20 PM
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Taipei, May 20 (CNA) Commenting on Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) inaugural speech Wednesday, Chinese scholars said there still is a lack of mutual trust between Taiwan and China.

The "cold confrontation" between the two sides is likely to continue, the scholars said, after Tsai reiterated that her administration "will not accept the Beijing authorities' use of 'one country, two systems' to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo."

She also said her administration will handle cross-Taiwan Strait affairs in accordance with the Constitution and guided by the basic principles "peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue."

Commenting on Tsai's speech, Shi Yinhong (時殷弘), a professor at the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, said Beijing will not soften its stance on Taiwan unless Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party government publicly recognizes the "1992 consensus," which upholds the "one China" principle.

Over the past four years, the relationship between Taiwan and China has been characterized by a lack of mutual trust and "cold confrontation," Shi said in phone interview with CNA.

As Tsai enters her second term, the situation is unlikely to improve, and instead could deteriorate amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Shi said.

Expressing similar views, Jei Dalei (節大磊), an associate professor at Peking University School of International Studies, said Tsai did not address the historic reality of the 1992 consensus or the territorial disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea, which was a disappointment to Chinese authorities.

Tsai's speech, however, was not as "provocative" as in past years, Jei told CNA.

Regarding Tsai's proposal for the establishment of a constitutional reform committee in the Legislature, Shi said that was a sensitive issue China will watching closely, as it would involve changes to Taiwan's status quo.

Meanwhile, Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), spokesman for Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office, said China's goal of peaceful reunification with Taiwan under a "one country, two systems" framework remains unchanged.

The DPP government, however, had refused to recognize the "1992 consensus," which has undermined cross-strait relations, Ma said.

Any move by the Taiwan government to pursue constitutional reform and hold referendums aimed at pushing for de jure independence will hurt the welfare of the Taiwan people and threaten the peace and stability across the strait, Ma said.

In Taiwan, Chao Chun-shan (趙春山), an honorary professor at Tamkang University's Graduate Institute of China Studies, said Tsai had offered an olive branch to China in her speech.

She clearly indicated openness toward resolving the issues across the strait and urged the leader on the other side to do likewise, Chao said.

Tsai also expressed the hope that both sides would able to sit to talks on cross-strait peace and stability, he said.

(By Miu Tsau-han and Frances Huang)

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