Taiwan sees dialogue as key to cross-strait relations

By Cansu Dikme

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AA) – Sitting across the water from its giant neighbor the People's Republic of China, Taiwan believes in mutual cooperation and dialogue in cross-strait relations, said a top government official on Monday.

“We hope the differences are resolved only through pragmatic communication and dialogue. We believe mutual beneficial cooperation, communication and dialogue are our world trend,” Chiu Chui-cheng, Taiwan’s deputy minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, told journalists in the capital Taipei.

Hosting a group of journalists from across the world as part of Oct. 10 national day celebrations, Chui-cheng said Taiwan’s cross-strait policy is based on maintaining the status quo of the peaceful environment across the strait.

“Our government reiterates the immovable tradition of establishing a consistent and sustainable cross-strait relationship,” he said.

On the public view of the current status quo, Chui-cheng said over three-fourths of the Taiwanese people — 80 percent — favor it, according to regular polls by his office.

“The people of Taiwan believe in the democratic system,” he said.

He also reiterated Taiwan’s commitment to maintain the status quo.

“Our performance of the cross-strait policy, our goodwill and commitment will not change. We will reverse all the past of confrontation,” he said.

Chui-cheng also urged international support for Taiwan.

“So we are looking your understanding and more support for Taiwan,” he concluded.

-At odds across strait

Since Chinese nationalist leaders fled to Taiwan in 1949 after a civil war with Mao Zedong's Communists, the People's Republic of China has seen the region as a breakaway province that will eventually return.

Tensions between China and Taiwan have been mounting since President Tsai Ing-wen's traditionally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won the January 2016 election.

That June, Beijing suspended cross-strait communication mechanisms with Taipei.

The ruling party has been known to object to a 1992 Consensus and the "one China" principle it entails — which Beijing insists on as the basis of cross-Taiwan Strait ties.