TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A legislator closely associated with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) wants to remove the mention of unification with China as the country's sole national aim from the text of the “Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area,” reports said Friday (May 8).
The proposal is seen as sensitive because it comes just weeks ahead of Tsai’s May 20 swearing-in for her second and final four-year term as president. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate won a landslide victory in the Jan. 11 presidential election.
DPP legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘), who is not related to the president, said the current wording of the act describing “national unification” as the only aim no longer reflects the political reality and should therefore be removed from the text, the China Times reported.
His proposal passed its first reading at the Legislative Yuan Friday morning, leading the China Times to describe it as a step toward Taiwan Independence. The text of the act opens with the phrase “before the unification of the nation,” which the legislator wants to replace with “in response to national development,” the newspaper reported.
Taiwan acknowledges the existence of the People’s Republic of China and its sovereignty over the areas it controls, while the Taiwanese government has authority over its main island and Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu, as well as their adjacent territorial waters and airspace, the newspaper quoted the DPP lawmaker as saying.