Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) said Monday he is the only presidential candidate to clearly oppose formal Taiwan independence because he believes doing so will help achieve peace across the Taiwan Strait.
“I oppose Taiwan independence. We have to reduce the risk of war and create a win-win situation [across the Taiwan Strait],” Hou said during an address at a Taiwan economic development forum where he shared his economic and trade platform.
“Taiwan independence will only lead to war,” he contended.
The United States has also repeatedly expressed a stance that is not supportive of Taiwan independence, the New Taipei mayor said, and its “friend-shoring” policy to shift supply chains was partly motivated by potential geopolitical risks across the Taiwan Strait.
That is why when he visited the U.S., Japan, and Singapore earlier this year, the No. 1 question people asked him was how he would promote cross-strait peace if he won the presidency on Jan. 13, 2024, Hou said.
“The most important job for Taiwan’s future leader is to play a key role in stabilizing cross-strait and regional peace,” he said.
Hou reiterated that his main goal in seeking the presidency was to bring peace to Taiwan under his “Three Ds” policy of deterrence, dialogue and de-escalation after several years of military threats and deteriorating relations with Beijing.
At the same time, Hou advocated the re-establishment of dialogue with China based on the principles of equality, goodwill and dignity.
He said any dialogue would conform with the Constitution of the Republic of China, Taiwan’s official name, and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, the Taiwanese law that provides a legal framework for cross-strait relations.
Hou also proposed to reopen Taiwan’s borders to Chinese travelers and more Chinese students, which he said would help local businesses and higher education institutions while improving bilateral understanding and reducing the risk of miscommunication.CNA graphic Nov. 10, 2023
Meanwhile, addressing the business sector’s concerns over Taiwan’s electricity supply, Hou reiterated his policy to reverse the phasing out of nuclear power by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, provided nuclear plants passed safety inspections by a team of international experts.
He also pledged to push for Taiwan’s accession into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade bloc before his first presidential term expired in 2028.
Hou made the comments during the Taiwan economic development forum organized by one of the countries’ leading industrial associations, the Chinese National Federation of Industries.
Speaking at the opening of the event, federation Chairman Matthew Miau (苗豐強) said the forum was meant to establish a dialogue platform between presidential candidates and Taiwanese business representatives so that they could better understand each other.
Miau, chairman of the MiTAC-SYNNEX Group, a leading Taiwanese information technology company, said Taiwanese businesses are facing several challenges, including a trade war, inflation, and the reorganization of supply chains.
Most importantly, Miau said, the Taiwan Strait has been seen as a potential hotspot for a war breaking out.
The Taiwan economic development organized by Chinese National Federation of Industries will continue with Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), chairman and presidential candidate of the opposition Taiwan People’s Party, to speak Tuesday and Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德), the ruling DPP’s presidential candidate, to speak Wednesday.
Source: Focus Taiwan