Taiwan President Urges China to Make Joint Effort to Keep Peace

  • Relations between China and Taiwan cooled since inauguration
  • New president has refused to accept both sides are one country

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen called on China to jointly keep peace across the strait amid strained ties since she took office in May.

“China should recognize both sides share the responsibility to maintain peaceful and stable development,” Tsai said on Saturday in the first briefing with domestic and foreign media since her inauguration. “A communication mechanism has yet to be restored. We hope both sides can keep stability before considering a new view on dialogue,” she said.

Taiwan aims for “consistent, predictable and sustainable ties” with China and maintenance of the status quo, Tsai said in Taipei. Cross-strait relations have cooled as the new president refused to accept Beijing’s version of the one-China principle and that both sides are part of one country.

In the 1992 Consensus, both sides agreed there is only one China while allowing each its own interpretation of what that means. The previous President, Ma Ying-jeou, endorsed that doctrine, paving the way for talks on many subjects, while Tsai’s refusal has angered China. Though governed separately since 1949 as a result of civil war, China claims Taiwan as a province that it will retake by force if it declares independence.

Tsai also appealed for regional peace. “We will keep communication with related parties concerning the South China Sea,” she said. “Our goal is stable development in the region.”

On domestic issues, Tsai said she is targeting an innovation-driven economy and local companies need to speed up their pace of transformation. Justice and pension scheme reforms are also on the agenda, she said.

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