‘Pro-US, but China- friendly,’ Ko says to Heritage Foundation

TAIPEI (The China Post) – During his speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. on March 20 (Eastern Time), Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) discussed the triangular relations between Taiwan, China, and the U.S., stressing that “Taiwan is pro-US, but it can also be China-friendly.”

On cross-strait relations, the mayor said he opposes using hatred as a bargaining chip and expressed hopes that Taiwan and China could start dialoguing and re-establish mutual trust. That’s the reason why he proposed that “the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family,” a statement that demonstrates Taiwan’s goodwill.

Ko also thinks that the biggest problem is that there’s no trust between the two countries. Regarding the 1992 Consensus, China doesn’t accept KMT’s “one China with respective interpretations,” not to mention DPP’s stance on “maintaining the status quo” which translates to gradual de-sinicization and the removal of Chiang Kai-shek statues.

According to Ko, the think tanks he visited during the trip agree that there is a gap between Taiwan and the mainland. Therefore, he proposed the “Five Mutual Principles” in hopes of bridging the gap between Taipei and Beijing given that they haven’t managed to start a successful conversation so far.

Further stressing that there are still disputes and obstacles between the two sides, Ko said communication shouldn’t be hindered as it is a rare phenomenon for two countries like Taiwan and China to have such close economic relations while being bitter enemies politically.