Taiwan's opposition accepts chair's resignation

Updated: 2012-01-17 08:31

(China Daily)

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Election result a mandate to continue on current path of peace and prosperity

BEIJING - Taiwan's major opposition party accepted the resignation of its chairwoman, Tsai Ing-wen, on Monday, following her defeat in Saturday's leadership election.

Tsai will analyze her failure, complete a report on the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) continued reform and transformation, and tour the island to thank her supporters, before her resignation takes effect on March 1, a DPP spokesman said.

The 55-year-old announced her plan to resign as party chief in her concession speech on Saturday night, so as to "shoulder the responsibility of the failure" to oust incumbent Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou, who won the election by a margin of nearly 6 percent, or 800,000 votes.

Ma's position on cross-Straits issues was the key to his victory, local media said, adding that the voters' choice showed their support for the 1992 Consensus and peaceful development across the Straits.

The 1992 Consensus is an agreement reached between the mainland and Taiwan in 1992, which states that both sides adhere to the one-China policy. Since then, the consensus has served as the political foundation for cross-Straits dialogue.

An editorial in the Taiwan-based China Times newspaper said the election result was a clear message to the DPP, that it needs to "realize the importance of cross-Straits dialogue".

"The more DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen attacked the consensus, the more anxious swing voters became. The DPP drifted further away from the grassroots people, who have greatly benefited from cross-Straits exchanges," the editorial said.

Acknowledgement of the consensus was at the heart of the leadership contest, and Ma's re-election means the two sides will continue in a stable and healthy direction, according to an editorial by Taiwan's Want Daily.

The editorial also suggested establishing a "Cross-Straits Peaceful Development Commission" to facilitate the improvement of bilateral relations and defuse disputes.

The online edition of Central Daily News said Ma's victory was not a personal one, but one that belongs to the island's people, as it will ensure Taiwan's prosperity and stability.

"Ma's victory means both sides of the Straits can expect to maintain stability for another four years. This will be conducive to Taiwan's economic growth, employment and the layout of the island's industries based on cross-Straits cooperation."

The re-elected Ma should continue to boost cross-Straits economic cooperation and accelerate follow-up negotiations of key bilateral economic agreements, it added.

During his three-and-a-half years in office, Ma has advocated a series of bold commercial initiatives and helped reduce tensions across the Straits to their lowest levels since 1949.

A major economic framework that took effect in 2010, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, has enabled hundreds of products from the island to be sold without tariffs in the mainland market.

China Daily - Xinhua

(China Daily 01/17/2012 page2)