Taiwan urges Beijing to resume talks after KMT meeting with China official

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has urged Beijing to resume talks with Taipei without preconditions, following a meeting between the opposition Kuomintang’s (KMT) officials and China’s top Taiwan affairs leader Wang Huning (???).

In a statement issued late Friday evening, the MAC called on Beijing to “abandon prerequisites for cross Taiwan Strait talks and the use of coercive measures against Taiwan.”

Beijing should instead act responsibly to maintain cross-strait peace and to enhance the welfare of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, the MAC said.

Both sides of the Taiwan Strait should engage in exchanges on the basis of equality and mutual respect with the intention that such interactions would further mutual communication and understanding and resolve differences, it added.

The statement was issued in response to the latest remarks made by Wang on Friday when he received a visiting delegation led by KMT Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia (???) in Beijing that day.

Wang, newly appointed to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) seven-member Politburo Standing Committee last October, is set to lead the party’s highest decision-making body on Taiwan when he assumes the position of chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and deputy head of the Central Leading Group for Taiwan Affairs later this year.

The CCP and the KMT will further consolidate their shared belief that the “1992 consensus” and “anti-Taiwan independence” serve as the “political basis” to deepen political mutual trust, maintain benign interactions, and strengthen cooperation, Wang was quoted by China’s Xinhua News Agency as saying.

Wang said the CCP and KMT were strongly opposed to the separation of Taiwan from China and any interference by external forces to achieve that, and that they would join together to achieve the “great rejuvenation” of the Chinese nation, according to Xinhua’s report.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen (???) came to office in 2016, Beijing has cut off communications with Taipei and suspended nearly all official exchanges between the two sides because Tsai has refused to recognize the so-called “1992 consensus.”

The “1992 consensus,” as KMT defines it, refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between the then KMT administration and Beijing that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is only “one China” which both sides are part of, though each side is free to interpret what “China” means.

Given that Beijing has never publicly recognized the second part of the KMT’s interpretation of the “1992 consensus,” the ruling Democratic Progressive Party considers accepting the formula tantamount to recognition of Beijing’s “one China” principle and continues to reject it.

In the KMT’s statement about the meeting with Wang, Hsia touted the KMT-CCP interactions as “precious assets” that must be appreciated by both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Amid the tense cross-strait relations in the previous DPP government from 2000-2008, former Vice President Lien Chan (??), who then served as honorary KMT chairman, made his “ice-breaking” trip to China in 2005 and laid the foundations for the KMT to make progress in improving cross-strait ties during Ma Ying-jeou’s (???) presidency from 2008-2016, Hsia said.

As long as both sides of the Taiwan Strait continue to talk to each other and see the maintaining of cross-strait peace and stability as the most important objective, there should be no insurmountable obstacle for both sides to improve their relations, he added.

Separately, the DPP expressed “regrets” that Hsia failed to convey to Wang the stance of Taiwan’s people — that Taiwanese stand firm in safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty and democratic and liberal way of life — during their meeting.

During the trip, the KMT engaged with the CCP in ways that pandered to the latter’s expectations and “run against mainstream preference in Taiwanese society,” the DPP said.

The KMT delegation left Taiwan on Wednesday for a multi-city tour of China that will last until Feb. 17.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel