Washington Post’s Weymouth interviewed President Tsai Ing-wen
On July 21, Lally Weymouth, a senior associate editor of Washington Post, interviewed Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, at the Presidential Office in Taipei. This is President Tsai’s first foreign interview since taking office in May. Tsai answered many questions regarding Taiwan-China relations. The followings are some questions and answers.
Q1: Some academics say Xi Jingping has a certain deadline by which he wants you to agree to the ’92 consensus. Is that right?
Answer: It isn’t likely that the government of Taiwan will accept a deadline for conditions that are against the will of the people
Q2: Since your inauguration in late May, the Chinese have cut off the official channel that was used to communicate between Taiwan and the mainland. How do you plan to handle day-to-day relations with Beijing?
Answer: We have always had diverse channels of communication across the strait. These include not just official communications but also people-to-people contacts…there are differences between the positions of the two sides of the strait. In Taiwan, we have done our best to minimize that gap. I believe that the Chine4se re4alize the goodwill we have put forth at the inauguration.
Q3: Do you feel you are closing the gap between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China?
Answer: Over this past period, we have handled relations with China very carefully. We do not take provocative measures, we make sure that there are no surprises, and we hope that through channels of communication, we can gradually build up trust.
Q4: You represent many of the yout5h who think of themselves as being Taiwanese, not Chinese. There are more pro-independence than the older generation. As president, you want to maintain cross-strait relations for stability, but at the same time, you must keep your followers happy. How do you balance these factors?
Answer: Different generations and people of different ethnic origins have different views on China. But they all agree on one thing. That is democracy.