Date
15 December 2017
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Palace in Taipei. Photo: Bloomberg
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Palace in Taipei. Photo: Bloomberg

Taiwan’s Tsai seeks immediate talks with China

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is seeking immediate talks with China, saying leaders on both sides should address cross-strait issues with wisdom, flexibility, and a “calm attitude”.

“Anything can be included for discussion, as long as it is conducive to peace and welfare for people on both sides,” Tsai said in her first National Day address after her May 20 inauguration, Bloomberg reports.

She reiterated that Taiwan will not bow to pressure from China.

Taiwan’s relationship with its former civil war rival has grown increasingly strained since January, when Tsai swept the more China-friendly Kuomintang from power in a landslide election win.

The president, whose Democratic Progressive Party was founded with independence as a goal, has drawn Beijing’s ire by refusing to adopt her predecessor’s stance on negotiations across the Taiwan Strait.

Tsai said Taiwan will keep communication with China open and both sides should cherish their achievement since the 1992 talks that established a framework for their relationship.

Taiwan’s goodwill on cross-strait relations has not changed, she said.

Taiwan’s national day holiday, known as “Double 10″ as it falls on 10th day of the 10th month, highlights the shared history between the two rivals, commemorating an uprising that precipitated the end of the Qing Dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China.

Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek moved the government to Taipei in 1949 as the Communists took charge in the mainland, setting up the stalemate that endures to this day.

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