MAC reaffirms government stance on cross-strait relations

The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is committed to maintaining the cross-strait status quo of peaceful and stable relations for the mutual benefit of Taiwan and mainland China, with the positive development of such ties the shared responsibility of both sides, according to Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Lin Cheng-yi July 13.

Cross-strait relations are complex, sensitive and require a high level of wisdom and patience to steadily resolve and control differences, Lin said. Maintaining the peaceful status quo in the Taiwan Strait is in the interest of all parties, he added.

Lin made the remarks while opening an international symposium on cross-strait relations in Washington. The one-day event was co-hosted by Taipei City-based National Chengchi University and Center for Strategic and International Studies headquartered in the U.S. capital.

According to Lin, President Tsai Ing-wen stated during a recent interview that changing conditions in the Asia-Pacific and cross-strait relations over the past year present a new situation Taipei and Beijing must face together. It is necessary for both sides to respond to a new answer sheet and consider a new model conducive to peace and stable interactions, Lin said, adding that this Three New thinking is built on the existing political foundation, he said.

The government respects the historical fact of the talks in 1992 between Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation and its mainland Chinese counterpart the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, Lin said. It also acknowledges the joint commitment to setting aside differences to seek common ground, as well as values the achievements of exchanges and negotiations between the two sides over the following 20 years.

In working tirelessly to create conditions for rational dialogue and policy decisions, the government has sought to establish consistent, predictable and sustainable relations between Taiwan and mainland China, Lin said, adding that public opinion polls commissioned by the MAC and related agencies consistently confirm more than 80 percent support for maintaining the cross-strait status quo.

But the level of risk and suspicion underpinning exchanges across the strait has been raised by mainland China through a series of recent diplomatic actions unfriendly to Taiwan, Lin said, urging Beijing to move beyond zero-sum thinking and correctly interpret the government's mainland China policy and public opinion trends.

In an effort to address the new situation, Lin said the government has formulated four hopes and commitments shaping future cross-strait efforts and policies. Top priority is firmly defending Taiwan's interests and values to fulfill the responsibility to safeguarding regional peace, followed by maintaining stability through communication and dialogue with mainland China in response to changes in the Asia-Pacific; promoting the sound and orderly development of exchanges while strengthening management mechanisms; and prioritizing the protection of the rights and well-being of the people, he added.

Cross-strait peace and stability are also consistent with vital U.S. interests, Lin said, adding that it is hoped the U.S. will continue supporting the government's cross-strait policy and encouraging mainland China to join Taiwan in maintaining the status quo and protecting security and stability in the Asia-Pacific.

Source: Taiwan Today