Taiwan's president calls for healthy development of China ties

President Tsai Ing-wen speaking at AmCham event in Taipei Wednesday evening.

President Tsai Ing-wen speaking at AmCham event in Taipei Wednesday evening. (CNA photo)

Taipei (CNA) - President Tsai Ing-wen said Tuesday that the key to healthy development of cross-Taiwan Strait ties lies in mutually beneficial policies that are negotiated on an equal footing.

Tsai made the remarks during a national security meeting in which senior officials exchanged views on the latest developments in China and East Asia.

The topics included what Taiwan should do in the wake of Chinese President Xi Jinping securing an indefinite term of office following the National People's Congress recent approval of amendments to relevant constitutional provisions.

She admitted that China's latest move and developments on the Korean peninsula could affect regional stability and global trade and economy, while posing "new and more complicated challenges" for Taiwan.

China's lifting of a term limit on the presidency and changes to its top-level personnel have caught international attention and countries around the world have attached even greater importance to the value of democracy, according to Tsai.

"For Taiwan, democracy is not just a way of life. It is also the soil on which our multi-cultural country thrives. It gives Taiwan an advantage in the world," she added.

She stressed that freedom and democracy are essential for Taiwan's survival.

Commenting on China's efforts to block Taiwan from attending this year's World Health Assembly in May, Tsai said health issues are universal and should not be denied to any human being.

"It does not befit a big country (like China) to frustrate Taiwan's attempts to participate in international affairs. This kind of behavior will not win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese people," she said. (By Yeh Su-ing and S.C. Chang)