Taiwan’s cross-strait policy remains unchanged: President Tsai

Taipei, Taiwan will maintain its policy toward China in the wake of the Nov. 24 local government elections, President Tsai Ing-wen (???) said Friday, urging Beijing not to allow political issues to disrupt city-to-city exchanges between the two sides.

In a meeting with delegates from the U.S. National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP), Tsai said her Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) losses in last Saturday's elections reflected widespread discontent with Taiwan's interior affairs, and her government will review such policies.

The electorate, however, did not vote on relations with China, Tsai said, adding that her administration will therefore maintain its course on cross-Taiwan Strait policy.

The administration's policy includes openness to cross-strait exchanges at the municipal level, Tsai said.

"We hope there will not be any political preconditions set for city-to-city exchanges and such interaction will not be subject to disruption by political issues," she said.

Soon after Taiwan's local government elections, a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office said Beijing would stick to the "1992 consensus" and would welcome more exchanges and cooperation between cities in Taiwan and China.

The statement was seen as an indication that China would engage in exchanges only with Taiwan cities that recognize the "1992 consensus."

Among the newly elected local government chiefs, Kaohsiung Mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu (???) of the Kuomintang has openly accepted the "1992 consensus" and is planning to set up a "cross-strait working group" to promote trade with China.

The "1992 consensus" is a tacit agreement that was reached in 1992 by officials of the then KMT government and the Communist Party of China at a meeting in Hong Kong. It agrees that there is only "one China," but each side is free to interpret what that means.

Beijing has insisted on recognition of the "1992 consensus" as the sole basis for dialogue with Taiwan, a precondition Tsai's administration has refused to accept.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel