TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — During an impromptu press conference called hours after Xi Jinping’s “unification” talk, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) sternly rejected the possibility of a “one country, two system” framework for Taiwan as proposed by the Chinese leader earlier Wednesday.
“Taiwan will never accept a ‘one country, two systems’ framework,” said President Tsai. The majority of Taiwan’s public opinion resolutely opposes the “one country, two systems,” she added. “This is the Taiwan consensus.”
In his talk to commemorate the “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan,” which was delivered four decades ago following a raft of reforms introduced by former China’s leader Deng Xiaoping, Chairman Xi said China will strive to achieve peaceful “reunification” with Taiwan but will not renounce the use of force to resolve cross-strait disputes.
“We make no promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary means,” said Chairman Xi, emphasizing that military action could be used to prevent foreign interference and to target independence forces and activities in Taiwan.
Referring to her New Year’s talk delivered a day ago, President Tsai said both sides of the Strait must resolve their differences through peaceful means and on equal terms.
Cross-strait issues on the part of Taiwan should be handled by the elected government which is monitored by Taiwanese people, said President Tsai. The Tsai administration has repeatedly said it would be willing to conduct dialogue with Beijing, which cut off official contacts with the Taiwan government after President Tsai took office in 2016.
Chairman Xi said Beijing is willing to talk with the representatives of political parties from Taiwan about the future of cross-strait relations, but only when they agree to reject Taiwan’s independence and accept the so-called “1992 Consensus,” which is centered around the “one-China” principle.
“We have never accepted the ‘1992 Consensus,’” said President Tsai. The Chinese leader’s statement earlier today has clearly shown that such rhetoric indicates nothing more than the “one-China” and “one country, two systems” ideology, according to President Tsai.
Chairman Xi’s talk came a day after President Tsai took a hard line on Taiwan’s future relationship with China in her New Year’s address.
Rejecting the defeat of her ruling Democratic Progressive Party in the November local elections as a signal that Taiwanese people would concede the nation’s sovereignty and autonomy, President Tsai said her administration will embark on work to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty and to reinforce its democratic system.