Taiwan Faces Challenges in Maintaining China Relations, Ma Says

Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan's president.

Photographer: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg

Taiwan needs to continue with its current cross-strait policy to maintain good relations with China, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said in a speech posted on the Presidential Office website.

The 1992 consensus of “one China, respective interpretations” is the most important principle in trying to preserve that status quo, and if Taiwan opposes it there will be turmoil in the Taiwan Strait, Ma said in his last National Day speech before he steps down in May 2016 after two four-year terms.

“If we stray from those principles, the status quo will change,’’ Ma said. “Then we might face the same problems we had over seven years ago, when cross-strait relations were at a standstill, and international relations took a turn for the worse.”

Ma said that the consensus that prevails on both sides of the Taiwan Strait is the foundation that allows peaceful and prosperous cross-strait relations, and the next president needs to continue on this path.

Taiwan will hold a presidential election on Jan. 16, 2016. Opposition Democratic Progressive Party head Tsai Ing-wen leads in opinion polls. The ruling Kuomintang party favors closer ties with China than the DPP.

Link to speech: {http://english.president.gov.tw/Default.aspx?tabid=491&itemid=35 810&rmid=2355}

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