TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) set out three proposals for maintaining peaceful and stable cross-strait relations in a New Year press conference Tuesday afternoon, CNA reports.
First, he said, the government and people must set aside prejudices and abandon impractical discourse and rhetoric to work together, prioritizing Taiwan’s interests.
Second, Chen said, “we must stand by our country, democratic values and form a ‘Taiwan consensus’, and only then can cross-strait relations begin to turn a new page.”
The minister said China only recognizes the “One China Principle,” “two shores, one China,” “one country, two systems,” and “peaceful unification,” but not the Republic of China. “One country, two systems” shows Beijing looks upon Taiwan as a mere tributary, argued Chen, but the Chinese government must be clear that Taiwan has never been a part of the People’s Republic of China.
Taiwan cannot become a special administrative zone under Beijing’s jurisdiction, he added, and the only vision Taiwan has for future cross-strait relations is China implementing true democratic reforms.
“This is the best solution to the ‘Taiwan issue’ we can provide China,” Chen stated.
Third, he said, official contact mechanisms and systemized negotiations should be resumed as soon as possible to avoid misjudgements.
The minister pointed out that Beijing attempts to bypass central authorities in Taiwan and use salami-slice tactics to manage cross-strait relations and create internal divisions. He urged the two sides to begin working together on the issue of African swine fever as soon as possible to ensure stronger control measures and allow citizens peace of mind for the new year.
Chen claimed the Taiwanese government has four major cross-strait policy plans for the upcoming year. They are as follows: assessing China’s tendencies towards Taiwan, robustly defending national security and implementing measures to safeguard democracy, fortifying defense mechanisms and strengthening local-central cooperation, and protecting the overall rights of the Taiwanese people by closely observing U.S.-China trade developments and assisting local businesses making return investments in Taiwan.
The Chinese government will strengthen efforts to promote integration in the future, Chen said, and MAC’s mission is to asses its behavior and respond appropriately.
Finally, the minister mentioned that while cross-strait relations present a challenge this year, they also present an opportunity. Chen said he hopes the Taiwanese people will unite to the end to fight for their livelihood, defend democracy and protect sovereignty.