Taiwan election result won't change mainland policy: FM

By Xie Jun and Jiang Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016/1/15 21:44:46

The Chinese mainland on Friday re-emphasized the one-China policy and its opposition to “Taiwan independence,” regardless of what takes place in Taiwan, prior to the island’s election on Saturday. 

“I want to stress that we stick to the one-China policy, oppose ‘Taiwan independence,’ ‘two Chinas,’ ‘one China, one Taiwan.’ This policy remains unchanged and will not change regardless of what happens in Taiwan,” Hong Lei, spokesperson of the mainland’s foreign ministry, said at a daily press briefing on Friday.

Back on the island, three candidates from three different parties, Tsai Ing-wen, Eric Chu Li-luan and James Soong Chu-yu made their last lobby on Friday.

The island’s leader election is estimated to end at around 4pm Saturday, local time. Around 18 million voters are eligible to cast a ballot. 

The ruling party Kuomintang (KMT) candidate, Chu, on Friday campaigned for four hours for votes in Taipei, while Ma Ying-jeou, incumbent Taiwan leader and also former chairman of KMT, took to Facebook to urge people to vote for the party of “stability.”

People First Party candidate Soong also ended his campaign Friday in Taipei after three days of campaigning across the island, local media said.

Meanwhile, Tsai, the chairwoman of opposition party Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), held a press conference in Taichung and campaigned for votes on Friday, reportedly wearing a bullet-proof vest while campaigning.

While the DPP leader has been avoiding public acknowledgement on the 1992 Consensus, whose core principle is the one-China policy, Tsai also voiced her hope for peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, the Hong Kong-based China Review News reported.

According to a KMT opinion poll released in December 2015, Tsai remains in the lead at 40.4 percent with Chu trailing at 30.9 percent, the Taiwan-based Central News Agency reported. 

Analysts expressed their concerns over uneasy cross-Straits relations should Tsai win. “On the one hand, she cannot change her political stance; otherwise she would come under huge pressure from supporters and DPP members. On the other, insistence on her independence-leaning stance may irritate the mainland,” Chang Ya-chung, an international relations professor at National Taiwan University, told the Global Times in an earlier interview.
Chan Yi-Hsin, an expert at Tamkang University in New Taipei City, told the Global Times on Friday that Taiwan must keep friendly ties with the mainland to improve the structural problems haunting the island’s economy, which is a key issue that any future leader should solve. 

“Voters are not against improved cross-Straits relations but they criticize a lack of benefit enjoyed by ordinary people from an improved tie … A worsened tie will only put local economy into more trouble and will even threaten the island’s international environment,” Chan said.

Cross-Straits relations have greatly improved in recent years with Ma overseeing a rapprochement with the mainland. This has led to trade deals and a tourist boom. This culminated in November 2015 when Xi Jinping met Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore. This opened up a whole new chapter in cross-Straits relations.

Xi said in March that the 1992 Consensus is the political foundation for the mainland and Taiwan to build trust and hold talks to continue the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

Posted in: HK/Macao/Taiwan

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