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Lai's address escalates tension across Taiwan Straits: Taiwan opinions


Pedestrians walk on the street in Taipei City, southeast China's Taiwan, November 28, 2023. /CFP
Pedestrians walk on the street in Taipei City, southeast China's Taiwan, November 28, 2023. /CFP

Pedestrians walk on the street in Taipei City, southeast China's Taiwan, November 28, 2023. /CFP

Commentators from various walks of life in Taiwan have voiced disappointment and anxiety following Lai Ching-te's speech upon assuming the role of the region's new leader on Monday.

The Cross-Straits Peace and Development Forum said in a statement that Lai's speech was full of the wrong understanding of history and the legal status of Taiwan, revealing his stance as a "pragmatic worker for Taiwan independence."

Describing the speech as one "filled with lies from the very beginning," Hung Hsiu-chu, former chairperson of the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) party, said that Lai and his team are not trustworthy.

Eric Chu, chairman of the KMT, said at a press conference that he was surprised to see that Lai mentioned the "two states" theory when talking about cross-Straits relations. Chu expressed his concern about the future of cross-Straits relations.

A spokesperson of the New Party told reporters that Lai had resorted to the pursuit of political confrontation in his speech, contrary to what the majority in Taiwan had wanted him to do.

The Observer magazine in Taipei said Lai had openly thanked the United States for its "military aid," fully revealing the intention of the new Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities to continue seeking U.S. support for their independence agenda.

According to a recent poll conducted by TVBS, a Taiwan-based news channel, 53 percent of people lack confidence in the ability of the new DPP authorities to properly handle cross-Straits relations.

The China Times, a Taiwan-based Chinese-language daily, pointed out in an editorial piece that Lai's speech was less about cross-Straits connections but more about highlighting confrontation between the two sides. The newspaper added that this attitude had disappointed the Taiwan society.

Noting that cross-Straits relations have been at a low point for the past eight years, an editorial by the Taipei-based United Daily News forecast that in the coming four years, it is feared that the people of Taiwan will have to "fasten their seat belts" as another bumpy ride appears to lie ahead.

Ma Ying-jeou, former leader of Taiwan and former chairman of the KMT, speaking during a seminar on Tuesday, called on Lai to return to the vision of a shared history, culture and identity of the Chinese nation.

"Engaging in dialogue with the mainland is the only way to create a genuine opportunity for peace in the Taiwan Straits," Ma added.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency
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