On Taiwan's National Day, President Tsai Ing-wen calls for renewed talks with China
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, however, clarified that her government would not bow to pressure from Beijing. Photograph: (AFP)
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday called for a resumption of talks with China "as soon as possible" while addressing the country on its National Day. She also clarified that while she did not want both countries to "go down the old path of confrontation," her government would not to "bow to pressure" from China.
China sees self-ruling Taiwan as part of its territory requiring reunification. Relations between the countries have deteriorated after Tsai's China-sceptic Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took charge in May after beating the Kuomintang party (KMT).
In her speech, the President urged both sides to "set aside the baggage of history and engage in positive dialogue".
"The two sides of the strait should sit down and talk as soon as possible. Anything can be included for discussion," Tsai said, adding, "Leaders on both sides should jointly show wisdom and flexibility and a calm attitude to resolve the existing differences between the two sides."
China's Taiwan Affairs Office, however, maintained that the "1992 consensus" would remain the basis for its talks with Taiwan.
"Denying the '1992 consensus', inciting confrontation across the Taiwan Strait and severing socio-economic and cultural ties is an impassable, evil path," it said.
Bejing cut off all official communication with Taiwan after Tsai assumed office in May, refusing to accept the concept of "one China."
Taiwan has accused Beijing of pressurising a number of countries, including Armenia and Kenya, to deport Taiwanese fraud suspects to China rather than their home territory. It has also blamed China for blocking it from attending international events, including a major United Nations aviation meeting in Canada last month and a series of forums in semi-autonomous Hong Kong.
Relations improved under the previous China-friendly KMT government, but not without many Taiwanese people fearing a threat to their sovereignty.
Scores of anti-China protesters protested during the ceremony on Monday, asking Tsai to reject the "one China" idea. Pro-China demonstrators asked her to step down.
(WION with inputs from agencies)