ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronCrossEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Politics

Taiwan opposition leader vows to maintain peace with China

TAIPEI -- Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's main opposition leader who stands a good chance of winning in the presidential poll next January, said Thursday that she will not provoke Beijing and her party will be committed to maintaining steady ties with China should it return to power.

     Tsai's statement is her latest effort to address concerns from the international community, especially the U.S., that tensions between Taiwan and China could heighten if the pro-independence DPP secures the presidency next year.

     "We are confident we can handle cross-strait relations well," Tsai told senior DPP officials in a closed-door meeting, according to a party statement. "We will not create conflicts and come into a standoff with Beijing."

     "Our fundamental principle in handling cross-strait relations is to maintain the status quo, to preserve peace and stable development in ties [with China]," she added. "We will also consolidate mutual trust with the U.S. and let that mutual trust become a positive factor in ensuring the peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations."

     After the DPP won the Taiwanese presidential election for the first time in 2000, following 50 years of National Party rule, Chen Shui-bian's eight-year presidency was characteristed by rocky relationships with both Beijing and Washington.

     At the later stage of his presidency, he often angered the Chinese and worried the Americans with his provocative anti-Beijing, pro-independence rhetoric. While Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949, Beijing still treats Taiwan as part of its territory and has never ruled out using force to reclaim the island.

     The Taiwanese public became apprehensive of Chen's approach and, in 2008, voted in Ma Ying-jeou from the China-friendly Nationalists on the back of his pledge to forge close mainland ties, reduce tensions and boost Taiwan's economy.

     However, a large number of Taiwanese voters have grown weary of Ma and his pro-China stance over the past year, with many feeling his policies only benefit big business and give Beijing undue influence over the island.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media