Tsai urges Beijing to see goodwill displayed

For the second day in a row, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen addressed the growing chill between Taiwan and China, this time urging Beijing to see the goodwill that she has displayed and be more flexible when conducting cross-strait ties.

Speaking to reporters yesterday at the end of her nine-day trip to Latin America, Ms Tsai said she has demonstrated "maximum goodwill and flexibility" in her inauguration speech when she was sworn into office on May 20.

Beijing can be more flexible in its thinking, she was quoted as saying by Taiwan's Central News Agency.

In her inauguration speech, Ms Tsai did not mention the 1992 Consensus, a tacit agreement between the two sides that there is one China, with each side having its own interpretation of what "one China" means.

Beijing, which has insisted that accepting the Consensus must be the basis for cross-strait exchanges, since then has halted a cross- strait communication mechanism that facilitated regular contact between the two sides.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office has put the blame for the suspension of the mechanism on Ms Tsai, for not accepting the 1992 Consensus.

On Wednesday, Ms Tsai said Taiwan will continue to look for "other options" to maintain dialogue with China. Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council chief Katharine Chang said yesterday that the hotline that was set up last December to allow both sides to deal with emergency is now not in use.

Jermyn Chow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2016, with the headline 'Tsai urges Beijing to see goodwill displayed'. Print Edition | Subscribe