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Mainland says Tsai's speech on cross-Straits ties 'an incomplete test answer'

Editor: Chen Yue 丨Xinhua

05-21-2016 11:02 BJT

TAIPEI/BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese mainland's Taiwan affairs authority on Friday described remarks by Taiwan's new leader Tsai Ing-wen on relations across the Taiwan Straits as "an incomplete test answer."

It also said that the Chinese mainland remains as determined as ever and has even stronger ability to uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In her inauguration address, Tsai "was ambiguous about the fundamental issue, the nature of cross-Straits relations, an issue that is of utmost concern to people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits," the head of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said in a statement.

"She did not explicitly recognize the 1992 Consensus and its core implications, and made no concrete proposal for ensuring the peaceful and stable growth of cross-Straits relations," the statement reads.

Taiwan's new leader Tsai took office on Friday.

Tsai, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), won Taiwan's leadership election on Jan. 16.

"The current developments across the Taiwan Straits are becoming complex and grave. The Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are following closely the prospect of the growth of cross-Straits relations," the mainland statement reads.

"We have noted that in her address today, the new leader of the Taiwan authorities stated that the 1992 talks between the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) reached some common understanding," the official said.

Tsai also said she will handle affairs of cross-Straits relations in keeping with the existing defining document and related regulations and continue to advance the peaceful and stable growth of cross-Straits relations on the basis of the established political foundation.

The 1992 Consensus was reached with explicit authorization of the two sides and has been affirmed by leaders of both sides. It thus constitutes the cornerstone of peaceful growth of cross-Straits relations, the mainland statement reads.

Only affirmation of the political foundation that embodies the one China principle can ensure continued and institutionalized exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, according to the statement.

"Taiwan independence" remains the biggest menace to peace across the Taiwan Straits and the peaceful growth of cross-Straits relations, it says.

It warns that pursuing "Taiwan Independence" can in no way bring peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.

"We will resolutely forestall any separatist moves and plots to pursue 'Taiwan independence' in any form," it says.

Some Taiwan scholars said that the island's new leader's playing with word games on the nature of cross-Straits relations would bring uncertain and worrisome prospects of the relations.

Tsai basically repeated her previous statements, said Pang Chien-kuo, a researcher at Chinese Culture University in Taipei.

To realize economic and social development, Taiwan should first of all handle its relations with the mainland well, he said. But obviously, what she said in the speech was not enough for maintaining peaceful development and good interactions between both sides, said Pang.

There is evidently a gap between her stance and the recognition of the 1992 Consensus and its core implications, said Yang Kai-Huang, a cross-Straits relations expert at Ming Chuan University.

As Tsai was inaugurated, representatives from some of Taiwan's organizations gathered to appeal to her to recognize the 1992 Consensus.

The crowd was dotted with banners that read: "Adhering to the 1992 Consensus, and maintaining peace across the Taiwan Straits," and "Both sides of the Straits belong to one China," and slogans, such as "Opposition to Taiwan independence, and support for peaceful unification," were chanted by the protestors.

"The essence of the 1992 Consensus is that both sides of the Straits belong to one China," said Chang An-lo, president of the China Unionist Party.

Chang called on Tsai and the DPP to shed their elusive approach to the 1992 Consensus, change their stance on Taiwan independence, and to refrain from creating confrontation that may endanger the people of Taiwan.

A participant of the rally, who only gave the surname Chen, said; "I am here to show my support for the 1992 Consensus, and I hope our new leader recognizes and accepts it."

A woman who asked to only be identified by her surname Gao said she feared that the DPP might use the education and culture sectors to promote "implicit Taiwan independence," which could have an adverse effect on Taiwan's younger generations.

The flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC) urged Taiwan's new leader to develop peaceful cross-Straits ties and stop taking an ambiguous attitude toward the fundamental issue.

"We will not only listen to what she says, but also see what she will do," said the People's Daily in a commentary to be carried in its Saturday edition.

The People's Daily asked whether she will bring cross-Straits ties closer, or push the two sides further apart, and whether she will follow the correct path of peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, or push for "Taiwan independence" while claiming to "maintain the status quo."

A choice of different paths leads to different futures, and this choice involves the direct interests of the people on both sides of the Straits and the peace and stability of the region, the commentary added.

People on both sides of the Straits will wait and see how Taiwan authorities make this choice based on their actual deeds, it said.

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