Taiwan’s President speaks on Hong Kong, cross-Strait policy, moots FTA with USA
TAIPEI -- In a video address to two US-based think tanks, the Hudson Institute and the Centre for American Progress (CAP), Taiwan's President, Tsai Ing-wen, has reiterated her four principles for management of cross-strait relations, mooted a Free Trade Agreement with the United States, and called on the international community to speak out and act against the demise of Hong Kong's freedoms.
Of Hong Kong, she said:
"We are saddened and alarmed to see this beacon of civil liberties become extinguished, in violation of the promises Beijing had made to the people of Hong Kong, as well as the international community.
"We recognise the bravery of the people of Hong Kong.
Earlier in July, hundreds of thousands of people turned out to vote in primary elections, despite the significant actions that have been taken to discourage them from doing so.
"We also see the international community as having an obligation to speak out and act against the demise of Hong Kong's freedoms.
"I applaud the actions that the UK, the US, and many other democracies have taken, and call on more like-minded countries to do the same."
On China, Tsai reiterated what she called her four principles in management of cross-strait relations: peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue.
"With these four principles," she said, "we will seek to continue our engagement across the Taiwan Strait and will always be willing to work together in the interests of peaceful coexistence and to prevent a downward trend in cross-strait relations."
Of Taiwan-US relations, the President said that, in her second term, she would continue co-operation with the US, adding that foremost amongst her priorities was to establish a constructive security relationship, built on a clear understanding of shared interests in the region.
The second area of focus, she said, was to begin negotiations towards a free trade agreement (FTA), and the third priority was to work with the US to strengthen engagement with other like-minded democracies.