Aug 16, 2011

Taiwan: Tsai Defends Taiwan Strait Policy

Facing criticism over the ambiguity of her stance, the Democratic Progressive Party’s presidential candidate reiterated that she wanted to maintain stable relations with China but still does not accept the 1992 consensus, which recognizes each nation’s jurisdiction but not sovereignty.

Below is an article published by Focus Taiwan:

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen, the party's candidate in next January's [2012] presidential election, rebutted Tuesday ruling Kuomintang (KMT) criticism that her cross-Taiwan Strait policy is "ambiguous."

Tsai reiterated her cross-Taiwan Strait policy, which she described as "peace with differences, peace while seeking commonalities," at a press conference.

Tsai defended her China policy, saying that "in fact, those who consider the policy abstract and vague are either still thinking in a traditional way, or looking at it from their own viewpoint and refusing to accept any other possibilities."

Tsai said she "had already said a lot" on issues surrounding cross-strait relations "many times," and that what is of the greatest importance is to find out what is in best interests of the people on both sides. "The most important principle is to maintain peaceful and steady relations," she added.

Asked how she can tackle cross-strait issues when the DPP denies the "1992 Consensus," Tsai illustrated her party's stance by responding: "Do you want to acknowledge something that doesn't exist? If we have to acknowledge something that doesn't exist, there must be a reason."

Under the "1992 Consensus" reached between Taiwan and China, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait do not recognize each other's sovereignty but also do not deny each other's jurisdiction. The consensus is aimed at tolerating differences, seeking common ground and shelving disputes to pursue peaceful development between the two sides. According to the DPP, such a consensus was never reached.