Taiwan leader expects successor to value 1992 Consensus
Updated: 2016-01-01 22:07
TAIPEI - Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou on Friday called on his successor to carry on the current cross-Strait policies and value the 1992 Consensus, which lays the foundation for mutual trust.
Cross-Strait relations over the past seven years have been the most stable and peaceful of the past 66 years, said Ma during his New Year's Day speech.
Ma said he hopes the cross-Strait policies of the next leader will continue in the right direction, following the pragmatic and effective policies implemented for the past seven years.
During his meeting with Xi Jinping in Singapore on Nov. 7, the two sides agreed that the 1992 Consensus is the political foundation of cross-Strait relations, offering strong proof that it has been accepted by both sides, he said.
Any Taiwan leader should uphold the consensus and work hard to maintain it, he said, arguing that it is impossible to maintain the status quo of cross-Strait relations without acknowledging the 1992 Consensus.
The election of the Taiwan leader is scheduled for Jan. 16. Ma will finish his term in May. Three pairs of candidates all pledged to maintain the current situation in cross-Strait relations, but Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has remained ambiguous about her stance on the 1992 Consensus.
"Cross-Strait peace has been a gradual and cumulative process. It didn' t just come out of nowhere, and should not be taken for granted," Ma said.
He said he expects the next leader will handle the matter with wisdom and appropriate caution so that Taiwan's people will not suffer more turmoil or fear.
Cross-Strait relations have made favorable progress since 2008. During 11 rounds of cross-Strait talks, the two sides reached 23 agreements, including lifting bans on direct shipping, air transport and postal services in 2008, and the long-awaited Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement in 2010.
The leaders from both sides of the Taiwan Strait met for the first time in 66 years at the November meeting. Chief officials on cross-Strait affairs from both sides have held seven meetings, and a hotline was launched Wednesday to link the cross-Strait affairs chiefs.