華盛頓郵報專訪 蔡英文:北京須尊重台灣民主意願(+專訪原文) ◎自由時報 07-22-2016

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蔡英文接受華盛頓郵報專訪時指出,北京必須尊重台灣的民主意願。(資料照,記者廖振輝攝)

2016-07-22  01:25〔記者蘇芳禾、編譯茅毅/綜合報導〕蔡英文總統上任後首度接受媒體獨家專訪,由美國華盛頓郵報拔得頭籌,她在專訪中向北京喊話,強調必須尊重台灣的民主意願。她也非常期待中國國家主席習近平在處理兩岸關係上能有更大的彈性,也能夠充分認知台灣是一個民主的社會,領導者必須傾聽民意。

據了解,蔡英文是在本周一接受華郵資深副主編Lally Weymouth親自來台專訪。華郵網頁在台灣時間昨天深夜貼出專訪內容,主要聚焦於兩岸和台、美、中三邊關係。

被問到有些學者指出,習近平有給期限要求承認九二共識,蔡英文回應,「要求臺灣政府( the government of Taiwan)違反民意,去接受對方設的期限,其實可能性是不大的。」這也是蔡英文首度對於是否承認九二共識有較清楚的回應。

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至於對習近平的印象,她認為習近平肅貪的勇氣對中國社會的發展至關重要,並期待他能在處理兩岸關係時展現多一點彈性,盼他能體會台灣係民主社會,台灣的領袖須遵照民眾的意志。

針對520就職以來,中方迄今切斷過去做為兩岸溝通的官方管道,蔡總統計劃如何處理與北京的日常關係?蔡英文表示,兩岸至今一向有各種不同的溝通管道,不只官方的聯繫,還包括民間的接觸,兩岸間的立場有所分歧,我方至今盡力讓箇中差距縮到最小,「我相信中方會瞭解我就職時釋出的善意」。

Lally Weymouth則以隸屬中國國務院的國台辦曾稱蔡總統的就職演說為「一份沒有完成的答卷(沒完成的考卷)」,迄今也未公開表示他們體會到蔡的立場而提出質疑。蔡總統僅表示,我國政府的不同層級各以其與中國政府不同層級間各自的溝通管道。

蔡總統並指出,過去這段時間,我方極為審慎地處理與中國的關係,未採取挑釁措施,我方確保零意外(no surprise),同時盼透過上述管道,能逐步建立互信。

Lally Weymouth提及「台灣認同」議題,指蔡總統代表諸多認為自己是台灣人,而非中國人的年輕人,他們比較年長的世代還更傾向獨立,「身為總統,您欲維持兩岸關係穩定,然同時您又須讓支持者滿意,這當中您要如何取得平衡?」蔡總統指出,台灣不同的世代和不同的族群有不同的中國觀,惟他們在一件事都有共識,那就是民主。

蔡總統還被問及台美關係,自1979年美國承認中華人民共和國代表中國以來,華府迄今仍視台灣為一實體(entity),而非一個國家(country),這是否公平?蔡回答說,她並不清楚美國使用「實體」一詞的意思,但對於我們在台灣的人而言,我們認為(believe)我們是一個國家、一個民主國家。台灣在世界不被承認的情形,的確並不公平。

Lally Weymouth並追問,讀者將難以理解何以身為台灣總統,來美國時卻只獲准過境停留48小時,這是否不公平?蔡總統回以「確是如此」。

Lally Weymouth還問到,前總統馬英九有意向美國採購66架F-16戰機和柴電潛艦,即便有數十名參議員連署支持,卻未獲華府同意,蔡是否將再次提案。蔡總統答說,現階段台灣國軍需要的是水面船艦、潛艦和防空系統,以及防禦性的網路戰力,並重申潛艦國造的政策。

蔡英文專訪全文:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2016/07/21/44b0a1a4-4e25-11e6-a422-83ab49ed5e6a_story.html

Opinions

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen: Beijing must respect our democratic will

Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, says Beijing cannot impose conditions on a democratic country. (Jorge Saenz/AP)
By Lally Weymouth July 21 at 10:31 AM
Lally Weymouth is a senior associate editor at The Washington Post.

Tsai Ing-wen is the first woman to be elected president of the small island of Taiwan, a close U.S. ally but also a potential flash point, because Beijing asserts that Taiwan belongs to the People’s Republic of China and can never be independent. Quite a few Taiwanese in Tsai’s party see it differently. Although China and Taiwan have been able to paper over their differences to date, tensions have been mounting since Tsai’s inauguration, when she did not restate the so-called ’92 consensus, in which Taipei and Beijing agreed that they are part of “one China” — but with different interpretations. This week, The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth visited Tsai’s office for the president’s first interview since taking office. Edited excerpts follow:

Q: What is your impression of Chinese President Xi Jinping?

A: I think that Chairman Xi’s courage tackling corruption is an important matter in the development of Chinese society. I also look forward to him showing a bit more flexibility in dealing with cross-strait relations. I hope that he can appreciate that Taiwan is a democratic society in which the leader has to follow the will of the people.

Q: Some academics say Xi has a certain deadline by which he wants you to agree to the ’92 consensus. Is that right?

A: It isn’t likely that the government of Taiwan will accept a deadline for conditions that are against the will of the people.

Q: 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?

A: 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 Chinese realize the goodwill we have put forth at the inauguration.

Q: It doesn’t seem that way. I think it was China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, part of the State Council, which said that your speech was “an incomplete exam.” There is no public indication that they appreciated your position. Are you, the president, in touch with your counterparts in the Chinese government?

A: Different levels of the government have different ways of communicating with their counterparts in China. At this stage, I cannot go into too much detail.

Q: Do you feel you are closing the gap between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China?

A: 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.

Q: You represent many of the youth who think of themselves as being Taiwanese, not Chinese. They 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?

A: Different generations and people of different ethnic origins have different views on China. But they all agree on one thing. That is democracy.

Q: Is it fair that Washington has considered Taiwan an entity, not a country, since 1979, when the United States changed sides and recognized the People’s Republic of China (with its capital in Beijing) — in lieu of the Republic of China in Taiwan (with its capital in Taipei) — as China?

A: I am not clear what the U.S. means when they use the term “entity.” For us here in Taiwan, we believe that we are a country, a democratic country.

Q: So isn’t it unfair that Taiwan is not recognized in the world?

A: It is indeed unfair.

Q: American readers would find it hard to understand that you, as a Taiwanese president, are only allowed to come to the United States for 48 hours, and then only if it is a transit stop.

A: Indeed.

Q: There has reportedly been a drop-off in tourists from the mainland. Will that hurt your tourist industry?

A: We hope to have a more diverse source of tourists.

Q: China could bring more pressure on Taiwan if it chose to. They could frighten away your diplomatic allies by threatening to weaken your bonds with them. Are you worried about that?

A: If they do take economic measures to apply pressure to Taiwan, they will have to think about the price that they are going to pay. Because the surrounding countries will be looking very carefully at what measures China will take against Taiwan.

Q: So you think as far as your alliances go, they will stay as they are today?

A: We will do everything we can do to maintain those relations and make sure that our diplomatic allies feel that having diplomatic relations with Taiwan is worthwhile.

Q: Your predecessor, President Ma Ying-jeou, wanted to buy 66 F-16s from the United States. Even though 47 senators wrote in support of his request, nothing happened. Do you intend to repeat that request?

A: At the current stage what we need are surface ships, submarines and air defense systems, as well as defensive capabilities in terms of cybersecurity.

Q: I think Ma also asked for diesel submarines and got nowhere. Will you repeat that request?

A: We are trying to develop our own [submarines].

Q: When it comes to the U.S. election, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump — who would be better for Taiwan?

A: As the leader of a different country, it is not very wise for us to comment on the presidential election in the U.S.

Q: I understand that the focus of your program is domestic — that you want to raise wages, to give people more time off. But with a growth rate under 1 percent, how can you spur the economy while delivering increased social services?

A: There is no panacea for this. I think Taiwan’s economy needs an overall structural readjustment. Our new model focuses on innovation and research. This is different from our growth model in the past, which was centered on the manufacturing industry.

Q: Isn’t China your No. 1 trading partner?

A: China is still our largest trading partner; however, complementarity between our economies is decreasing. We had the ability to organize a manufacturing process, and then we moved our manufacturing capability to China to make use of their labor pool. But now the situation is very different. [Chinese] labor costs are increasing, and China has their own capability.

Q: So China has become a competitor of Taiwan?

A: They are more and more our competitors.

Q: I saw that you expressed disappointment over the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on the South China Sea. It held that Taiping Island, which you claim as part of Taiwan, is a rock, not an island, and thus cannot enjoy an exclusive economic zone. Will you abide by the ruling?

A: We will not accept their decision. There are a couple of reasons for that. Taiwan is an important interested party in this case, but we were not invited to participate in the proceedings. Secondly, we found it unacceptable that we were referred to as the Taiwan Authority of China. The third reason is that [Taiping Island really is] an island.

Q: You are the first woman in Asia who does not come from a political family to be elected president of a country. How did you do it?

A: I think that my emergence as a leader is closely related to the development of Taiwan’s democracy. Taiwan’s democracy was a gradual development. It was done from the bottom up. Therefore a lot of the more successful political leaders come from civil society, those that are closer to the grass-roots level of the public.

Q: It must have been difficult to be a woman leader in such a male-dominated society.

A: Yes, to a certain extent. But I think that the society and our democracy are mature enough to place emphasis on the quality and the value of the individual politician, rather than their gender. Some people will find it fashionable to have a woman leader, but I think the reason people chose me as the leader of this country is because my policies and my values suit the needs of Taiwan today. We represent people who want to have change in the society. For years, this place has been dominated politically by a single party, the Kuomintang. People now want the place to be more democratic. They want to place more emphasis on human rights and transparency in terms of government decision-making. This is different from the way the government conducted business in the days when this was pretty much an authoritarian place.

Q: The KMT had a long military rule.

A: The expectation of the people now is very different. They want democracy.

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