Taipei needs fresh tack on cross-strait ties, says Taiwan’s president

Neither hatred of nor cosying up to Beijing the answer, says Tsai Ing-wen

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 September, 2017, 9:36am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 September, 2017, 8:53pm

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has said the island must find a new way of talking about mainland China and the issues it poses.

“Hatred or currying favour with China is not an honest way to respond to the rise of China and its rapid development,” Tsai said on Sunday in Taipei at the governing Democratic Progressive Party’s national congress.

The party has traditionally been sceptical of closer ties with the mainland.

Beijing considers self-governed Taiwan a breakaway Chinese province which has split from the rest of the country.

Soon after Tsai became president last year, Beijing suspended official contact with Taipei, ending the cross-strait rapprochement under her predecessor Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang.

Taiwan must look for a new model of interaction with the mainland, Tsai said at the congress.

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The party must also come up with a new way of responding to changes in the world, changes in the global economy and changes in Taiwanese society, she said.

The president said she had directed the party’s think tank to begin discussing 12 issues, including national defence, international participation, regional security, cross-strait affairs and constitutional reform.

The party congress on Sunday approved measures for nationwide local elections next year, including the possibility of cooperating with Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je, a political independent but DPP ally.