President urges putting aside historical cross-strait rancor

President Tsai Ing-wen (???) urged the ruling parties in Taiwan and mainland China Monday to put aside their historical rancor and hold positive dialogue to boost benefits for people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, during her first National Day address since taking office May 20.

"I also call on the two governing parties across the strait to set aside the baggage of history, and engage in positive dialogue for the benefit of people on both sides," Tsai said.

Reiterating the unwavering position of her government to build a consistent, predictable and sustainable cross-strait relationship, and to maintain democracy in Taiwan and a peaceful status quo across the strait, Tsai said that although there have been ups and downs in cross-strait ties over the past few years, "our position remains consistent and firm. Our pledges will not change, and our goodwill will not change..."

"But we will not bow to pressure and we will of course not revert to the old path of confrontation. This is our fundamental attitude toward maintaining the status quo, and it is based on the collective hope for peace across the Taiwan Strait."

"... maintaining the status quo has a more proactive meaning: With deepening democracy as a foundation, we will take proactive and forward-looking measures to promote constructive exchanges and dialogue across the strait, in order to build a peaceful and stable cross-strait relationship that endures."

"At the same time, we aim to redefine Taiwan's role in the Asia-Pacific region, and identify a new driving force for growth, so we are actively promoting our New Southbound Policy..." she said.

"... we will build stronger and mutually beneficial partnerships with the nations of Southeast Asia and South Asia, Australia and New Zealand in the areas of economics and trade, science and technology, education, culture, tourism and more. Through mechanisms for wide-ranging negotiation and dialogue, we will build consensus for cooperation and reduce barriers."

Taiwan plays a role different from that of mainland China in the process of regional development, and Taiwan has substantial experience in many fields, and "we will take full advantage of these to contribute to regional development," the president said.

"On regional infrastructure development and in multilateral economic and trade cooperation, we are also willing to negotiate and cooperate with the other side of the Taiwan Strait to jointly forge historical milestones."

In terms of Taiwan's global visibility, Tsai said that "although the path to participation in international organizations is not easy, we will remain steadfast and march on. Taiwan has never been absent from important global issues. Even under pressure, we still stand with all major democratic countries in our desire to contribute meaningfully to humanity."

In her 2,900-word speech in Chinese, the president mentioned Taiwan 19 times and both sides of the strait 19 times.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel