Taipei, People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong tendered his resignation as presidential advisor Thursday, citing rifts with the Presidential Office over his alleged support for China's "one country, two systems" proposed framework for unification with Taiwan.
Soong, who recently returned from a trip to China, was quoted by China's state-run Xinhua News Agency earlier this week as saying he agreed with the "two systems" proposal put forth by Chinese President Xi Jinping as a solution to the Taiwan issue.
At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Soong said he never mentioned the term "one country, two systems" in any interview during his visit to China, which began on April 15.
Furthermore, he did not suggest using the Hong Kong model to handle cross-Taiwan Strait relations, Soong said, adding that the purpose of his trip was to talk about economic issues, not politics.
Soong, who was the first popularly-elected governor of Taiwan Province in the 1990s, condemned what he said was an attempt to twist his words.
He said his party maintains the position that the two sides of the strait belong to one China, each side has its own government on an equal footing, and Taiwan should not declare independence.
"Democratic negotiation" is the only way for Taiwan and China to communicate, Soong said.
Earlier in the day, President Tsai Ing-wen asked Soong to clarify the Xinhua news report and suggested that he give up his post as presidential adviser if he indeed supported China's "one country, two systems" proposal.
In view of the misunderstanding, Soong said, he was resigning from his post with immediate effect.
He thanked Tsai for the trust she placed in him, particularly on cross-strait issues, and said he hoped she would maintain a pragmatic approach to cross-strait relations, in the interest of the Taiwanese people.
In response, the Presidential Office said it respected Soong's decision and would relieve him of his post in accordance with the proper procedure.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel