Tsai’s speech an ‘incomplete test paper’: Beijing


BEIJING — Mainland China has expressed its dissatisfaction with the inauguration speech of President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday, describing it as an “incomplete test paper.”

The Taiwan Affairs Office issued a statement of about 1,000 Chinese characters in response to Tsai’s much anticipated speech, in which many people were looking for clues about the future of Taiwan-China ties.

Mainland China said it noticed that the “new leader of the Taiwan authorities” mentioned that in 1992, the two institutions representing each side across the Taiwan Strait arrived at various joint acknowledgments and understandings through communication and negotiations.

Tsai also said her new government will continue to promote the stable and peaceful development of cross-strait relations based on existing realities and political foundations, the statement said.

But Tsai did not clearly recognize the “1992 Consensus” nor agree to its core meaning, and she did not propose concrete ways to guarantee the stable and peaceful development of the cross-strait relationship.

“On the fundamental question of the nature of cross-strait relations that people on the two sides of the strait are most concerned about, (Tsai) adopted a murky attitude,” the statement said.

“This is an incomplete test paper,” it said of her speech.

Tsai of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was sworn in as the first female president on Friday. Her inaugural speech was regarded by Beijing as a key barometer of the DPP government’s cross-strait policy.

Cross-strait exchanges have slowed since Tsai and her party scored resounding victories in presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 16, achieving a complete transformation of power in Taiwan.

Tsai has refused to accept the “1992 Consensus,” seen by the government of her predecessor Ma Ying-jeou as a tacit agreement between the two sides of the strait that there is only one China, with the two sides free to interpret what that means.

Beijing has used it to stress its “one China” principle,” which emphasizes that Taiwan is a part of China.