Tai­wan calls for re­newed talks with China

The Myanmar Times - - World -

TAI­WANESE Pres­i­dent Tsai Ing-wen yes­ter­day called for a re­sump­tion of talks with China and pledged that “any­thing” can be on the ta­ble for dis­cus­sion.

Re­la­tions with Bei­jing have de­te­ri­o­rated un­der Tai­wan’s first fe­male pres­i­dent, whose China-scep­tic Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) took of­fice in May after a land­slide vic­tory over the Kuom­intang party (KMT).

Ms Tsai has re­fused to ac­cept the con­cept of “one China”, prompt­ing Bei­jing to cut off all of­fi­cial com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the is­land’s new gov­ern­ment. China sees self-rul­ing Tai­wan as part of its ter­ri­tory re­quir­ing re­uni­fi­ca­tion.

In a speech mark­ing Tai­wan’s Na­tional Day, Ms Tsai urged both sides to “set aside the bag­gage of his­tory and en­gage in pos­i­tive di­a­logue”.

“The two sides of the strait should sit down and talk as soon as pos­si­ble. Any­thing can be in­cluded for dis­cus­sion,” Ms Tsai said.

While Ms Tsai said she did not want Tai­wan and China to go down “the old path of con­fronta­tion”, her gov­ern­ment would not “bow to pres­sure” from Bei­jing.

Taipei has ac­cused Bei­jing of pres­sur­ing a num­ber of coun­tries, in­clud­ing Ar­me­nia and Kenya, to de­port Tai­wanese fraud sus­pects to China rather than Tai­wan.

Taipei has also blamed China for block­ing it from at­tend­ing in­ter­na­tional events, in­clud­ing a ma­jor UN avi­a­tion meet­ing in Canada last month and a se­ries of fo­rums in semi­au­tonomous Hong Kong.

Re­la­tions­be­tweenTaipeiandBei­jing im­proved un­der the pre­vi­ous Chi­nafriendly KMT gov­ern­ment, but left many Tai­wanese fear­ing the is­land’s sovereignty was un­der threat. –

Photo: AFP

Tai­wan Pres­i­dent Tsai Ing-wen speaks dur­ing Na­tional Day cel­e­bra­tions at the Pres­i­den­tial Palace in Taipei on Oc­to­ber 10.

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