ELECTION 2024/KMT's Hou outlines '3Ds tactic' to maintain cross-strait peace
Washington, Sept. 18 (CNA) The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜), on Monday, outlined his so-called "3Ds strategy" to promote peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait during a meeting with American scholars at a Washington D.C.-based think tank.
The speech at the Brookings Institution where Hou announced and expanded on the 3Ds strategy "deterrence, dialogue and de-escalation," was attended by some of the biggest names in cross-strait affairs based in America, including Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund; Richard Bush, non-resident senior fellow in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings; and Ryan Hass, a senior fellow and the Michael H. Armacost Chair in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings.
The hour-long closed-door meeting was not open to the press but Hou published an English-language article titled "Taiwan's Path Between Extremes: the Kuomintang Presidential Candidate Lays Out a Plan to Avert War With China," the same day in the U.S.-based Foreign Affairs magazine which explains the 3Ds strategy.
In the article, Hou said Taiwan has to be prepared for war, but use its strength to safeguard peace and stability across the strait.
But at the same time, he advocates the re-establishment of dialogue with China per the constitution of the Republic of China, Taiwan's official name, as well as under the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, the Taiwanese law that provides a legal framework for cross-strait relations.
"Drawing from successful experiences with such dialogue during past KMT governments, such as the collaborative efforts to combat crime since the 1990s that culminated in a comprehensive agreement on judicial mutual assistance signed in 2009, I will continue cross-strait communication while avoiding military miscalculations."
The New Taipei mayor also pledged that such cross-strait dialogue must be based on the principles of equality, goodwill and dignity.
"Through mid- and long-term interactions between both sides, I believe it is possible to gradually decrease hostility and reduce the risk of conflict across the Taiwan Strait and avoid the threat of war," he wrote.
Following the closed-door meeting, both Glaser and Bush told awaiting Taiwanese reporters that they had gained a good understanding of Hou's policy platform.
Bush, a former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director said both sides had a "very detailed and substantive discussion."
"My co-hosts and I believe that people on the American side got a very good understanding of Mayor Hou's views on cross-strait relations and U.S.-Taiwan relations, and we're grateful for that," he said.
"I think that Mayor Hou heard very clearly what the interests and concerns of people on the American side were," Bush said, without elaborating.
He would not disclose if both sides touched on the issue of the "1992 consensus," saying only that "what was said in the room stayed in the room."
Glaser, meanwhile, said that during her first meeting with Hou, she had got a better understanding of his views on a wide range of issues.
"So, I personally came away with a much better understanding of what Mayor Hou's vision is for Taiwan and the policies he would pursue if he is elected."
Asked about her first impression of the KMT presidential candidate, Glaser said Hou spoke very comprehensively on a range of issues.
The "1992 consensus," as the KMT defines it, refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between the then KMT administration and Beijing that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is only "one China," which both mainland China and Taiwan are part of, with each side free to interpret what that "one China" refers to -- the ROC or the People's Republic of China (PRC).
Beijing, however, has never publicly recognized the second part of that interpretation.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has refused to accept the "1992 consensus" because Beijing has never acknowledged the ROC's existence and therefore it believes agreeing to the consensus implies acceptance of China's claim over Taiwan.
The PRC has therefore curtailed cross-strait exchanges since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) from the DPP assumed office in May 2016 because of this refusal to accept the "1992 consensus."
Following the think tank speech, Hou visited the AIT Washington headquarters and was greeted by AIT Chairwoman Laura Rosenberger. The closed-door meeting lasted an hour and Hou did not make a public statement following it.
The AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties. Its headquarters are based in the U.S., with branch offices in Taipei and Kaohsiung.
Sources told CNA that on Monday Hou also met with several Republican congressmen, namely, Mike Garcia, Pete Sessions and Keith Self among other lawmakers.
Hou is currently on an eight-day visit to the U.S. that began in New York, before he headed to Washington D.C.
Tuesday will be his last day in D.C. before he heads to San Francisco and returns to Taipei.
The trip to the U.S. has been described by Hou's campaign office as a "journey of dialogue and deepening friendship."
It is also considered by some to be a test of his ability to handle diplomatic affairs if he were to be elected president in the January 2024 election.
It has been a longstanding practice for Taiwanese presidential candidates to visit the U.S. before elections.
Taiwan People's Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and sitting Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德), the ruling DPP nominee for the 2024 presidential election, both visited the U.S. earlier this year.
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