Taiwan's president open to meeting with Xi Jinping

Tsai Ing-wen says negotiations can be made to maintain cross-strait peace, unification not an option

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President Tsai interviewed by reporters Nov. 28. (CNA photo)

President Tsai interviewed by reporters Nov. 28. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Thursday (Nov. 28) that she would be open to discussing cross-strait relations with Chinese leader Xi Jinping as long as Taiwan's democracy is not at stake.

During her visit to Shoushan National Nature Park in the company of Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) and Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇), Tsai on Thursday morning was asked about whether she wished to meet with Xi if she was re-elected. Tsai emphasized that her main responsibility as Taiwan's president is to sustain peace between Taiwan and China.

Tsai said she would not turn down any opportunities to improve Taiwan's relations with China but that the island's sovereignty and the freedom of its people cannot be sacrificed. She added that she believes such a meeting must be mutually beneficial for both countries, reported UDN.

In regard to U.S. President Donald Trump's signing on Wednesday of the Hong Kong Human Rights Act, Tsai said that it could serve as an encouragement to the Hong Kong protestors and that many democratic countries are standing behind the social movement. She stressed that Hongkongers were not alone in their battle for democracy.

Tsai also commented on her rivals in the 2020 Taiwanese presidential election, Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and his running mate Simon Chang (張善政), who had earlier said that Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) would get into an accident if he continued to criticize Han. Tsai remarked that anyone running for president should be well-intentioned and cautious with their remarks, reported CNA.