Tsai reiterates Taiwan’s cross-strait stance at foreign media event

President Tsai Ing-wen addresses members of the international media at the Office of the President Jan. 5 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of Office of the President)

TAIPEI, Jan 7, 2019, Taiwan Today. President Tsai Ing-wen reaffirmed Jan. 5 that the people of Taiwan will absolutely not accept “one country, two systems” or efforts to circumvent the elected government in conducting cross-strait political consultations, reported the Taiwan Today.

This approach by Beijing fails to respect Taiwan’s democratic mechanisms and system of governance, Tsai said. China needs to embrace democracy as this is the only way for it to understand the perspective of the Taiwan people and gain the trust of the international community, she added.

Tsai made the remarks during a reception for 46 journalists from 27 foreign media outlets at the Office of the President in Taipei City. During the event, she addressed the Jan. 2 speech by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in which he equated the “1992 Consensus” with the “one China” and “one country, two systems” formulations.

According to the president, the people of Taiwan are opposed to “one country, two systems” due to China’s lack of a democratic system, poor human rights record and failure to renounce the use of force against the country.

Taiwan’s attitude in handling cross-strait relations for the past two years has been to avoid provocation and not create trouble, Tsai said. China has done just the opposite, she added, citing as examples Beijing’s attempts to alter Taiwan’s designation in the global community, military threats like circling the nation with aircraft and naval vessels, and use of disinformation to interfere in the country’s democratic elections.

Tsai said that Taiwan is not opposed to cross-strait exchanges and is willing to sit down for talks, but these must be authorized and monitored by the public and conducted on a government-to-government basis.

The president urged China to focus on issues of concern to the people on both sides like the outbreak of African swine fever. Cooperating with Taiwan and regional partners to prevent the spread of the epidemic would help build goodwill, she said, adding that Taiwan has excellent animal disease prevention capabilities and is ready and willing to support international efforts in this regard.

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