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President Tsai calls for rapprochement on 30th anniversary of cross-strait exchanges



In a speech marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of cross-strait exchanges, President Tsai Ing-wen has called for a breakthrough in cross-strait relations to advance the long-term mutual interests of people in Taiwan and mainland China.

Making the remarks at a forum titled ‘Cross-Strait Exchanges: A 30-Year Retrospective and Prospects for the Future’ in Taipei on 26 October, the President began emphasising the historical significance of the symposium and highlighting the many achievements in cross-strait relations in economics, education, sport, tourism and direct transport since exchanges were established in 1987. President Tsai pointed out that cross-strait exchanges, which are basically people-to-people exchanges, clearly show how cross-strait relations have moved from hostility towards peace over the past 30 years.

Affirming her belief in the benefits of dialogue, President Tsai said stable cross-strait relations depend on interactions between ruling parties to increase mutual understanding and gradually build trust so they can deal with cross-strait relations together. The President stated while relations between both sides are basically stable, her government still hopes for further improvement, adding that the maintenance of cross-strait peace, stability and development is the highest consensus. Emphasising the consistency in Taiwan’s approach to cross-strait relations, the President explained that ‘our goodwill will not change, our commitments will not change, we will not revert to the old path of confrontation and we will not bow to pressure.’

On the future of cross-strait relations, President Tsai said both sides, as vital stakeholders in the region, should contribute to regional peace and prosperity while building on existing mutual achievements and planning a vision for the next 30 years. Stating that the ruling party of mainland China has entered a new phase following the conclusion of its national congress, the President said contemporary circumstances pose an opportunity for change. She finished appealing to the leader of mainland China to embrace traditional political wisdom and seek a cross-strait breakthrough to create long-term benefits for both sides and eliminate hostility and the fear of war.