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President Tsai's Response to Pope Francis' Message for the World Day of Peace 2017(excerpt: cross-Strait relations)

  • Date:2017-01-20

Taiwan and mainland China were once embroiled in a zero-sum conflict that caused tension in the region and anxiety among our peoples. In contrast, today people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait enjoy stable lives and normal exchanges under peaceful separate governance. We should thus cherish all the more this status quo of hard-won stability. As I declared in my inaugural address in May 2016, the ROC government is staunchly committed to maintaining Taiwan's democracy and the status quo of peace in the Taiwan Strait.

In October 2016, I stated in the National Day address that maintaining the status quo has a more proactive meaning. With deepening democracy as foundation, we will take proactive and forward-looking measures to promote constructive exchanges and dialogue across the strait, in order to build a peaceful and stable cross-strait relationship that endures.

Upholding peace requires ample goodwill and communication. Based on many years of experience in cross-strait negotiations during my political career, I am convinced that military action cannot resolve problems. This is why I proposed four principles for peaceful engagement with mainland China, i.e., our pledges will not change, our goodwill will not change, we will not bow to pressure, and we will not revert to the old path of confrontation. I urge the governing party across the strait, together with the governing party in Taiwan, to set aside the baggage of history and engage in positive dialogue.

【Source: Office of the President】