The China Post
Tainan Mayor William Lai continued to speak on cross-strait relations during his U.S. trip, saying Sunday that Taiwan’s acceptance of the “1992 Consensus” was not a real issue. Rather, the real problem lies in Beijing’s “one country, two systems” model, he said. “The problem is not the ‘1992 Consensus.’ Getting rid of the Democratic Progressive Party charter is not a problem either. Whether or not you can accept the ‘1992 Consensus’ and the ‘One China’ principle are also not a problem.” Lai said that the problem was Beijing’s “one country, two systems.” “It is impossible for the people of Taiwan to accept a ‘1992 Consensus’ that puts it in the position like Macau and Hong Kong,” Lai added drawing applause during a speech in Maryland. Lai added that both sides of the Taiwan Strait needed to use dialogue to overcome conflict. Relations between China and Taiwan reached a new low this month when Panama dropped its diplomatic recognition of Taipei in favor of Beijing. In a speech to U.S. business representatives earlier, the mayor of the southern city elaborated on his “pro-China, love Taiwan” stance, which he declared earlier this month. Lai said that one must love Taiwan but also “extend a hand of friendship to China,” emphasizing that both sides shared the same cultural roots and were geographically interdependent.
Differentiating his stance from former President Ma Ying-jeou, Lai said he did not propose “moving toward” China, and that Ma had “moved Taiwan” to accept the “One China” principle and ignored the need for public support on the matter. Beijing uses its “one country, two systems” model as a way of incorporating Hong Kong and Macau, former territory governed as European colonies, into its fold. Taiwan has repeatedly rejected such a model as a means of future unification with China.