TAIPEI, Taiwan — Opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen yesterday urged China to think beyond the Communist-Nationalist framework in order to see new possibilities in cross-strait relations.
Tsai said the people of Taiwan have been disgruntled by the Kuomintang (KMT) administration handling cross-strait relations as if they were affairs between the ruling party and its communist counterpart in China.
“We hope China can break free from the KMT-Communist mentality while thinking of cross-strait relations,” Tsai told the press before giving a speech at an event in Taipei. “This will open up new possibilities for cross-strait relations and let cross-strait relations become more stable.”
Tsai was repeating what she has been stressing recently about cross-strait relations being affairs concerning two governments rather than two parties only — namely the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The opposition leader, who is set to represent the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the 2016 presidential race, has also clearly spelled out her support of the cross-strait status quo.
The construction of cross-strait relations into relations between the KMT and CCP has created a lot of problems in the past, and this must not be repeated, said Tsai, who heads the main opposition DPP.
Tsai also criticized President Ma Ying-jeou for encouraging KMT Chairman Eric Chu to visit Chinese leader Xi Jinping in order to strengthen cross-strait relations.
She said the biggest problem that Ma has been making over the past seven years is his failure to make a distinction between party and government affairs.
It has been widely rumored that Chu is going over to China in May to meet with Xi.
But Tsai noted that there has been no official confirmation so far about the Chu-Xi meet, and she declined to make further comments on the rumor.
Tsai also faulted the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) for dismissing her open support of the cross-strait status quo as “lacking substantial content.” The MAC said Tsai cannot deal with such a “core matter” with “ambiguities.”
But Tsai said she has been the head of the MAC, and knows that such an important Cabinet body must maintain its neutrality.
She said the MAC had made a “very inappropriate” response to her remarks, and the MAC chief must be blamed for the “mistake.”
She said there are many outstanding people in the MAC, and they must not be used as “political tools.”
Meanwhile, KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung said the ruling party has always treated cross-strait relations as relations between Taiwan and mainland China, and the DPP chairwoman, who has headed the MAC, knows it.