Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-wen on Monday said Taipei and Beijing should promote and deepen bilateral contacts, citing recent progress reached by Seoul and Pyongyang as example.
The long-standing tensions in the relations between Seoul and Pyongyang have started to thaw recently.
The summit between South and North Korean leaders took place on April 27 and resulted in a number of commitments, including steps toward reunification of the two countries and resumption of cooperation in various fields.
“Considering the international situation, the mainland Chinese and Taiwanese sides should restore mutual trust and sit down at the negotiating table.
“After South and North Koreas were able to do it, I believe that Taiwan and mainland China should also engage in a thorough dialogue,” Tsai said at the fifth Taiwan-Japan Strategic Dialogue.
Tsai added that if there had been an opportunity for Seoul and Pyongyang to overcome their controversies, the same spirit should spread to other parts of the region.
“While bilateral contacts in the private sphere have been ongoing between Taiwan and mainland China, it is necessary to promote communication on other levels,’’ Tsai said.
Since becoming Taiwan’s head in May 2016, Tsai has consistently opposed rapprochement with Beijing.
After taking office, she refused to recognise the 1992 Consensus, which acknowledges the “one China principle” implying that both mainland China and Taiwan are inalienable parts of the one single Chinese state.
According to Tsai, the two parties interpret the consensus differently, which may pose threat to Taiwanese sovereignty.
Official relations between Chinese central authorities and Taiwan stopped in 1949, when the Kuomintang government led by Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taipei after being defeated by the Chinese Communist Party and established the Republic of China on the island.
Informal contacts resumed in 1980s. Official China does not recognise Taiwanese independence and claims the island is part of China.
Similarly Taiwan too does not recognise the central government in Beijing.