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DPP mistaken comment as support from U.S.: KMT mainland affairs head

DPP mistaken comment as support from U.S.: KMT mainland affairs head

Taipei, May 29 (CNA) A notable Kuomintang (KMT) figure on Friday said that "someone" had mistaken a comment by a U.S. State Department official as a gesture supporting the opposition Democratic Progressive Party. Such a huge misunderstanding could be problematic, said Kao Koong-lian (???), a former deputy chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), who also serves as a special consultant to KMT Chairman Eric Chu (???) and the director of the KMT's Department of Mainland Affairs. At a Brookings Institute speaking event titled "Taiwan: A vital partner in East Asia" held May 21 in Washington D.C., Susan A. Thornton, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of East Asian Pacific Affairs, commended the firm foundation of dialogue and exchange that has been established between Taiwan and China, and that Taiwan, China and even the U.S. have benefited from warming relations across the strait. She said that the U.S. supports stable and positive interactions continuing across the strait. However, Thornton emphasized that the naming and defining of the content of that foundation is not "something that the U.S. is in the business of elaborating." According to Kao, Thornton's comments do not reflect the U.S. stance on the 1992 consensus, and that the U.S. has no interest taking an official position on the matter. While the U.S. had long held a "one China" policy, it has never openly talked about its "one China" principle, according to Kao. The opposition party's cross-strait relations platform of maintaining the status quo is for Taiwan to steer clear of unification with China, but also refrain from declaring independence, said Kao. While voices against unification are growing strident, Kao questioned whether voices against declaring independence will be stifled in the future. Kao went on to praise the 1992 consensus as the foundation that has enabled great leaps in cross-strait relations. He also urged Taiwan's government to uphold the existence of the Republic of China, and focus more on stimulating economic growth, and place less priority on politics. Without the 1992 consensus, Taiwan will have little chance of participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and the cross-strait trade in goods and trade in service agreements, said Kao. Kao's comments were made ahead of DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen's 12-day visit to the U.S. Tsai is set to depart for the trip Friday night. (By Liu Lih-rong and Ted Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-23 08:33 GMT+08:00