Tsai calls on Chinese leader to work together

2017/10/10 13:13:52 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)

Taipei, Oct. 10 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday that "leaders from both sides" of the Taiwan Strait should work together to create new models of cross-strait interaction to lay a more solid basis for long-term peace and stability in the relationship.

In her National Day Speech, Tsai said that as both sides face new circumstances in cross-strait and regional relations, "leaders from both sides should together work to display the political wisdom that has carried us through over the years."

This year marks the 30th anniversary of cross-strait exchanges since Taiwan lifted the ban on veterans visiting China in 1987, and over the past 30 years, hostility between the two sides has been replaced by peaceful development and a new chapter has been written in cross-strait ties, Tsai said.

"Key to this was that both sides were able to put aside political differences in order to be pragmatic and realistic," Tsai said.

In the course of exchanges and interactions, both sides accumulated goodwill and established new interactions and ways of thinking, Tsai continued.

Tsai called on Beijing to treasure these hard-fought results and the accumulated goodwill from the past 30 years. "On this existing basis, we hope for more breakthroughs in the cross-strait relationship," Tsai said.

Beijing has cut off channels of communications between the two sides and pressed two of Taiwan's diplomatic allies to switch recognition to China since Tsai came to office in May 2016, making cross-strait relations more tense.

Tsai, who has repeatedly committed to maintaining the "status quo" across the strait, reiterated her oft-stated position that "our goodwill will not change, our commitments will not change, we will not revert to the old path of confrontation, and we will not bow to pressure."

"This has been my consistent position on cross-strait relations," Tsai said.

She described cross-strait relations as an issue affecting Taiwan's future and the long-term welfare of its 23 million people and said "we have exerted maximum goodwill" in order to safeguard the peaceful and stable development of such ties.

Although political differences between the two sides have led to some complications, Tsai said her administration has "nevertheless worked to maintain the basic stability of cross-strait relations."

Tsai also mentioned some examples of cross-strait interactions, hoping the two sides can continue down that path.

Even today, footage of family members reuniting for the first time when they were allowed to visit China in 1987 "continues to be emotional," Tsai said.

Tsai said Taiwan in 2011 opened up to students from China and since then, young people from both sides of the strait have started to live, study, and think together.

"In this process, they started to gradually understand the differences in each other's backgrounds. They have started to develop mutual understanding, so that they can work together to build a more prosperous and peaceful world," she said.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)

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