TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) reiterated that “only the government elected by the Taiwanese people can represent the Taiwanese people,” rejecting Beijing’s “One China” principle cited by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅) Sunday.
“Taiwan is a universally-recognized democratic country and only the Taiwanese people have the right to decide Taiwan’s future,” MOFA said in a press statement issued late Sunday.
The MOFA statement came in response to Wang’s comments at a press conference the same day in Beijing in which he said the “reunification of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is a definite trend of history.”
“The Chinese government’s intention to impose ‘unification’ on democratic Taiwan highlights the fact that its ideology goes against common values shared by democratic countries,” the ministry said.
It further stressed that the Taiwan side will adhere to the principles of “peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue” in dealing with cross-strait relations, citing President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) public address during the inauguration for her second term on May 20.
MOFA said both sides are responsible for maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the Chinese government’s suppression of Taiwan’s international space is counterproductive to that goal.
Meanwhile, in a recent opinion poll conducted by the Taiwan-based Asia-Pacific Elite Interchange Association (APEIA), a majority of respondents said they agreed with Tsai’s position on cross-strait relations.
APEIA is a group that seeks to facilitate exchange across the Taiwan Strait and in the Asia-Pacific area.
Nearly 89 percent supported Tsai’s principles for future interaction with Beijing — “peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue — and 81.3 percent agreed that Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) should do his part to maintain cross-strait stability, the survey showed.
However, the survey also indicated that while 71.7 percent are satisfied with Tsai’s position on cross-strait relations made during her inaugural address, only 67.6 percent are confident about her handling of future cross-strait relations.
It also found that a majority of Taiwanese are concerned about relaxing restrictions on mainland Chinese visiting Taiwan and believe the Hong Kong national security law proposed by Beijing will damage the “one country, two systems” framework being implemented in the Chinese special administrative region.
The survey was conducted from May 21-22 with 1,074 respondents in Taiwan and released on Monday.
Fan Shih-ping (范世平), a professor of politics at National Taiwan Normal University, said the survey results show the development of a new consensus among Taiwanese people relating to cross-strait relations.
This consensus focuses on supporting cross-strait dialogue, demanding dignity during such dialogue, remaining cautious in dealings with China and supporting Hong Kong’s democracy movement, Fan said.