Tsai deems Economist’s report ‘one of different versions’


TAIPEI–The presidential candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Tsai Ing-wen, said Sunday it is just a different version when asked about a report by the Economist on the possible rise of military hawks in mainland China if Taiwan elects an independence-leaning president.

In the article titled “A Tsai is just a Tsai,” published Jan. 9, the London-based weekly news journal raised concerns that the election of an independence-leaning president in Taiwan could result in mainland China’s leader, Xi Jinping, becoming subject to increased pressure from military diehards insisting on unification.

Being chairwoman of the DPP, which has long advocated independence for Taiwan, Tsai has aroused concern that the cross-strait peace could end if she is elected as the next president of Taiwan.

Tsai has been faced with pressure from China to define her stance on the “1992 Consensus,” on the basis of which the current Ma Ying-jeou government had managed to create a thaw in cross-Taiwan Strait ties and achieve the warmest relations in more than six decades.

The “1992 Consensus” refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 in Hong Kong between Taipei and Beijing on how to characterize relations between the two sides — that there is only one China, with each side free to interpret what “one China” means.

For Tsai, she has been unwilling to show her support for the formula. Not recognizing there is such consensus, the doctoral degree holder in law has said the “1992 Consensus” limits Taiwan’s choices in the future and said her position of maintaining the status quo is “to ensure the options of the Taiwanese people.”

“The ‘1992 Consensus’ is just an option, but not the only one,” she said

The Economist says “Taiwan’s voters go to the polls on January 16th in what is likely to prove a momentous election both for domestic politics on the island and for its relations with the Chinese Communist Party in China that claims sovereignty over it.”

“Eight years of an uneasy truce across the Taiwan Strait are coming to an end,” it said.

In response, Tsai said when campaigning for her and DPP legislative candidates in Tainan, southern Taiwan that “this is nothing but one of different versions by all parties concerned.”

If elected, she will activate her comprehensive communication mechanism to stabilize the situation, Tsai said, declining to elaborate further.