TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) issued a statement on Sunday (Oct. 10) responding to China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, calling its comments about President Tsai Ing-Wen’s (蔡英文) National Day speech “totally unconstructive accusations and slander.”
On Sunday, while Tsai reiterated Taiwan’s goodwill and commitments to “contribute to the peaceful development of the region,” she also highlighted Taiwan’s resolve in protecting its democracy and freedom. “Nobody can force Taiwan to take the path China has laid out for us,” she said, calling upon opposing party leaders to come together to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Tsai mentioned four commitments in her speech: commitment to a “free and democratic constitutional system,” that “the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China should not be subordinate to each other,” to “resist annexation or encroachment upon our sovereignty,” and that “the future of the Republic of China (Taiwan) must be decided in accordance with the will of the Taiwanese people.”
“These four commitments are the bottom line and common denominator that the people of Taiwan have given us,” she said.
To this, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) responded that the speech “eggs on ‘Taiwan’s independence,’ instigates opposition, tears apart history, twists facts, and attempts to kidnap the will of Taiwanese people under a facade of ‘consensus and unity,’ while scheming with outside forces to provoke with its plot for independence.”
Taiwan Affairs Office Ma Xiaoguang. (Weibo, Taiwan Affairs Office photo)
Ma insisted that Tsai, whose presidency entered a second term through a landslide victory in a direct election, could not represent the will of Taiwanese people.
He said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has been incompetent since its election, and spends its time “madly suppressing dissidents” under a “green horror.” Despite Taiwan’s various achievements such as becoming the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage and its globally applauded success at containing COVID-19, Ma said any “claim” of “Taiwan is doing better” is an insult to the intelligence of Taiwanese citizens.
Taiwan’s MAC said in a statement that President Tsai’s speech emphasized Taiwan’s willingness and efforts to maintain a status quo and regional peace, which conforms to Taiwan’s cross-Strait policies. The MAC also stressed the fact that the Republic of China has been an autonomous nation in the past 110 years, and there has never been a hierarchy between Taiwan and China.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s totally unconstructive accusations, criticism, and slander will only increase the both countries’ disparity and the gap of perceptions, which is not helpful to developing positive interaction,” the MAC said.
Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s Representative to the U.S., attends a National Day celebration. (CNA photo)
In an interview with CNA, Taiwan’s Representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), who celebrated Taiwan’s National Day with the overseas Taiwanese community, said that Taiwan must find its own path in an era of global instability.
She said while she does not know how China interprets “the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China should not be subordinate to each other,” she believes Tsai’s speech is a description of facts. Under the common belief of democracy and freedom, everybody knows that ethnically-Chinese people around the world can only be truly free when the Republic of China is able to stand and protect its own system, she was cited by CNA as saying.