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Vice presidential hopeful reveals clip of Shanghai speech backing Taiwan independence

William Lai says 2014 trip to Shanghai was 'city-to-city exchange'

William Lai.

William Lai. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Responding to questions from the Kuomintang (KMT) camp over his visit with a Chinese Communist Party official in Shanghai five years ago, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice presidential candidate William Lai revealed an astonishing video at a press conference on Monday (Dec. 23).

The video shows Lai discussing the DPP's pro-independence ideas, the document "Resolution on Taiwan's Future," which was ratified by the party in 1999, and the country's direct election of its president, which is absent under China's communist regime, in front of Fudan University students and faculty members back in 2014.

During the Fudan speech, Lai mentioned the "Resolution on Taiwan's Future," which says that the DPP respects the decision [to declare independence or maintain the status quo] made by Taiwan's 23 million people and that it will never unilaterally challenge the existing political system. Lai also noted that the DPP's Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had won the 2000 presidential election, which meant a majority of the island agreed with the party's stance on the matter.

On Monday, Lai emphasized that he had visited Shanghai as the mayor of Tainan and met only city-level officials at the time.

"What makes Kaohsiung Mayor and KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu's (韓國瑜) Hong Kong trip controversial is that he chose to enter an institution promoting "one country, two systems" in addition to meeting Chinese Communist officials in a closed-door meeting. My trip to Shanghai was a city-to-city exchange, and that's all," Lai emphasized.

In addition, he criticized the KMT for continuing to ignore the fact that Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping (習近平) upholds the "one country, two systems" framework that adheres to the "one China principle" and that there is no room for the "Republic of China."