Tsai hits the presidential campaign trail in Kinmen
Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), hit the presidential campaign trail yesterday in Kinmen, stressing the importance of the outlying island county in crossstrait relations.
Tsai said she has “special feelings” for Kinmen, which she visited frequently when she was head of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and pushing for the so- called mini three links with China. Tsai headed the MAC from 2000 to 2004.
Tsai said that for the “mini three links” civilian piers were built to facilitate ferry services linking Kinmen and Xiamen on the Chinese side. Before that, there had been only military piers in Kinmen, she said.
The airport facilities in Kinmen were also improved to make air travel between the small island county and Taiwan proper safer, Tsai said during an activity she took part in during the visit.
She said she can see how Kinmen has been changing and improving since her time as MAC chief. If elected president, the DPP candidate said she would draw up a new project to spur Kinmen’s development.
On the Status Quo
Tsai said she hopes to give Kin- men a unique role in maintaining cross-strait peace and stability. She did not elaborate.
Tsai, who is representing the pro-independence DPP in the upcoming presidential election, has promised to maintain the crossstrait status quo. She repeated the vow during her recently concluded 12-day visit to the United States, a trip which she called a success.
ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and critics have challenged Tsai to spell out a more fleshedout cross-strait policy.
“Tsai fails to reveal clearly her policy and how it will ensure the peaceful and stable development of cross- strait relations,” wrote KMT Secretary- General Lee Shih- chuan in an article recently published in The Diplomat magazine.
“Although she claims she will maintain the status quo, she fails to specify which version of the status quo she will maintain,” Lee added.
Lee was pointing to the difference between the KMT’s “1992 Consensus,” which he said has helped stabilize Taiwan- China ties, and the theory of “special state-to-state” ties that Tsai formulated in the late 1990s to define cross-strait relations.
The KMT official also challenged Tsai to declare whether she will depart from the DPP’s pro-independence policy, which he said threatens to destabilize the cross-strait status quo.
However, former DPP Chairman Hsu Hsin-liang said Tsai’s cross-strait policy is already clear enough.
Hsu expressed confidence that Tsai can defend her position on cross- strait ties in the face of challenges from her contenders in the presidential race.