Tsai hits the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign trail in Kin­men

The China Post - - LOCAL -

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.

But the

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.

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