Baker’s statement on ‘one China’ creates political stir in Taiwan

Award-winning baker Wu Pao-chun (吳寶春) is pictured in this file picture, amid reports that he expressed his support to the “1992 consensus” and “one China” principle ahead of the opening of his first bread store in Shanghai on Dec. 18. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) – The people of Taiwan will never bow to political pressure from Beijing that seeks to distort economic and commercial activities across the Taiwan Strait, in China and the world, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday.

Tsai was responding to a statement issued Monday by award-winning baker Wu Pao-chun (吳寶春) ahead of the opening of his first bread store in Shanghai on Dec. 18, in which he said he was born in “Taiwan, China,” is proud of being Chinese and supports the “1992 consensus” which endorses the “one China” principle.

Wu’s statement came after Chinese netizens accused him of being pro-Taiwan independence.

“It’s a very serious matter,” the president said when she met with media at the Presidential Office building. “It’s not that Wu Pao-chun was to blame, but it reflects the situation we are forced into.” China’s exercise of its political power has distorted economic and commercial activities, which are part of everyday life and an issue of common concern to many other countries in the world, Tsai said.

“Taiwan is on the frontline and should be extra vigilant,” she added.

The use of standardized wording in Wu’s statement as in the statements previously made by other Taiwanese people indicated that it was an outcome of “political pressure,” Tsai said. “Taiwanese people have no problem in understanding the motivation.”

Tsai added that the Chinese tactic is not acceptable to Taiwanese people or the wider world, urging China to remove any political preconditions for cross-strait exchanges.

The omnipresent threat from China against Taiwan is the most important reason for setbacks in cross-strait relations, Tsai said.

By Shih Hsiu-chuan