Tsai Ing-wen: Security, freedom both key in handling cross-strait visits
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-29 04:24 PM
DPP Chairman Tsai Ing-wen said Saturday that the most important thing to come out of Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu's meeting with Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun was that Chen was able to take part under her official title. Speaking in her capacity as mayor of the city as well as a member of the DPP, said Tsai, lent a certain significance to her comments to the TAO head. Tsai said that that cross-strait interaction and communication must include the true voice of the people of Taiwan, this is the most important thing in such interchanges.

Tsai was in Chiayi City Saturday to attend a large fundraising luncheon on behalf of DPP Chiayi Mayoral candidate Twu Shiing-jer. She noted that Friday’s meeting between Zhang and Chen was not their first encounter, saying they had met before in the past. This time, however, Chen received Zhang in her official capacity as mayor of the city of Kaohsiung, adding a certain weight to the occasion.

Tsai said she hopes this kind of meeting and other similar interactions in the future can take place in appropriate circumstances that will help to enhance mutual understanding between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. She noted that the focus in such exchanges must be on truly conveying the voice of the people of Taiwan. This is the most important thing to keep in mind in such encounters.

Tsai noted that the protests that Zhang met on every leg of his trip to Taiwan are a natural phenomenon in Taiwan’s pluralistic society. Students and other elements in Taiwanese society are free to express their opinions in the island’s democratic society, she said, and this right must be respected. In Taiwan, personal freedoms including freedom of expression are guaranteed in the Constitution as in all democratic countries, and this is a key part of the Taiwan spirit.

Tsai added that security during visits of officials like Zhang must be appropriate. This requires careful advance planning and coordination based on the principle of minimal action and interference so that it does not result in excessive harm or restrictions on freedom of expression and movement.

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