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Taiwan to continue 'dialogue with mainland China,' says Tsai

Taiwan's objective is to "maintain peace and stability" between itself and mainland China, the island's president said. But Beijing remains wary, saying Tsai's new government has yet to recognize the "1992 consensus."

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said Taipei will continue to maintain dialogue with China after Beijing unilaterally suspended a communication mechanism with Taiwan.

"No matter what party is in government in Taiwan, we always have a single objective: to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," Tsai said at a press conference during an official visit to Paraguay, its sole diplomatic ally in South America.

"We will continue the dialogue with mainland China, as even though, probably at this moment official negotiation channels have been temporarily interrupted, there still exist other options for communication and dialogue," she added.

Since 2008, Taipei and Beijing have witnessed a thaw in diplomatic relations after Taiwan's China-friendly then-President Ma Ying-jeou signed a series of historic trade and tourism deals with the mainland.

However, China remains wary of the election of Tsai, who heads Taiwan's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, fearing the new president may push for formal independence.

China's civil war pitted communist forces against the ruling nationalists, prompting the latter to flee to Taiwan in 1949.

The conflict effectively resulted in two de facto states comprising the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China in Taiwan.

Relations at risk?

Meanwhile, Beijing on Saturday announced it would cut a regular communication mechanism since Taiwan's new government did not recognize the "1992 consensus," an agreement that mainland China and Taiwan comprised a single entity, despite difference on how it is defined.

"People cannot help but ask - why does Taiwan want to change the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait that has been in place since 2008? What is the aim?" said An Fengshan, a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office.

But Taiwanese Premier Lin Chuan responded to the suspension on Wednesday, saying Taipei desires positive interactions with the mainland.

"There must be willingness on both sides to move forward on the relationship," Lin told reporters.

Watch video 01:56

Taiwan: Seeking independence? | DW News

ls/sms (Reuters, EFE)

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