Taiwan president candidate seeks stable relations with China

Jun 3, 2015, 3:12 PM
FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2012 file photo, Tsai Ing-wen, presidential candidate of Taiwanese op...
FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2012 file photo, Tsai Ing-wen, presidential candidate of Taiwanese opposition Democratic Progressive Party speaks to reporters in New Taipei City, Taiwan. Taiwan's opposition presidential candidate will look to reassure U.S. officials this week that victory in a January election for her party, which Beijing views with suspicion, won't revive tensions across the Taiwan Strait. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)
(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Taiwan’s opposition presidential candidate said that if she comes to power in January elections, her government would have a responsibility to contribute to peace and stability in relations with mainland China.

Tsai Ing-wen also had a few complimentary words on Wednesday for China’s leader, Xi Jinping, but she deflected knotty questions on whether she accepts the principle of there being only one China. Beijing has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s.

Tsai reassured U.S. officials during a visit to Washington that victory for her Democratic Progressive Party won’t revive tensions across the Taiwan Strait. China regards Tsai’s party with suspicion because of its traditional pro-independence leanings.

The United States, which has legal commitments to help Taiwan maintain the ability to defend itself, has welcomed improved relations in the democratic island’s relations with the communist-governed Chinese mainland. The current Taiwanese government has promoted economic cooperation with Beijing, reducing the potential for conflict in a regional hotspot.

Tsai said she wanted to maintain the status quo in Taiwan-China relations, while intensifying Taiwan’s military relations with the United States and investing in “credible deterrence.” She said peace was in the interests of all parties, including Taiwan, China and the wider Asia region.

“If elected, I will push for peaceful and stable development of cross-Strait relations in accordance with the will of the Taiwanese people and the existing constitutional order,” she said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank. In keeping with the view of many analysts, Tsai said her chances of winning election were better than in 2012, when she lost to the incumbent Ma Ying-jeou.

Tsai is on a 12-day, six-city visit to the United States and has been meeting with Obama administration officials and lawmakers. The State Department has not publicized whom she met from the administration, a sign of the diplomatic sensitivities of visits by Taiwanese officials and politicians to the U.S.

Asked about her impressions of Xi, Tsai said he was a “very determined person.” She complimented his anti-corruption drive and said while many view Xi as tough and inflexible, he probably understands Taiwan better than most Chinese leaders because of his previous experience serving as governor of Fujian province, adjacent to the island.

“I hope that with his understanding of the situation in Taiwan and also his understanding of Taiwan as a democracy he’s in a position to exercise more flexibility when we are facing differences between us,” Tsai said.

China’s ambassador to Washington, Cui Tiankai, was critical of Tsai in comments to reporters Tuesday.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying that rather than conducting an “interview test” with the U.S., Tsai should pass the “test” of 1.3 billion Chinese on the mainland by accepting the one-China principle. He accused her of deception by making ambiguous statements on whether she will abandon the goal of independence.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

World News

(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF VOICES)...
Associated Press

Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, an influential fashion maverick who played a key role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.
1 month ago
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his ...
Associated Press

Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets his shot at PM job

LONDON (AP) — Rishi Sunak ran for Britain’s top job and lost. Then he got another shot — and the chance to say “I told you so.” The former U.K. Treasury chief was runner-up to Liz Truss in the contest to replace the scandal-plagued Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. But Truss […]
3 months ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in Downing Street in London, Thursday, Oct. ...
Associated Press

Truss quits, but UK’s political and economic turmoil persist

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term marred by economic policies that roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party that obliterated her authority. After just 45 days in office, Truss became the third Conservative prime minister to be toppled in as many […]
4 months ago
People receive medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 1...
Associated Press

Russia unleashes biggest attacks in Ukraine in months

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said nearly 100 people were wounded in the […]
4 months ago
This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, upper rig...
Associated Press

NASA spacecraft smashes into asteroid for defense test

A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth.
4 months ago
Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since the violence erupted over the weekend, according to a tally Thursday by The Associated Press. The scope of Iran’s ongoing unrest, the worst in […]
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Taiwan president candidate seeks stable relations with China