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Taiwan Vice President: Discussions With Beijing Must Be on Equal Terms

During a press conference, Taiwan Vice President William Lai rejected the "One China" principle and underscored the importance of Taiwan-Japan relations.



Taiwan's Vice President William Lai at a press conference on August 25 in Taipei, Taiwan. (© Kyodo)

On August 25, William Lai, Vice President of Taiwan and member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, addressed foreign media representatives in Taipei. He is currently preparing to run for president in January 2024. 

Regarding Taiwan's position on China, Vice President Lai stated, "Trading Taiwan's sovereignty for negotiations with Beijing won't result in true peace. We are open to discussions if there's mutual respect and equality."

Lai has consistently advocated that "Taiwan and mainland China are equals." On this occasion, he reaffirmed his rejection of the "One China" principle, which claims that Taiwan is part of China.

Furthermore, Lai highlighted, "In the future, we aim to actively pursue diplomacy based on shared values and further enhance our collaboration with the global community."

Democracy, Peace, and Prosperity

Reflecting on the nearly seven years of the Democratic Progressive Party's governance under President Tsai Ing-wen, Lai praised its foreign policy. He said, "We have elevated Taiwan's presence on the international stage and gained increased support from our allies."

Lai further indicated that if elected, he would "continue President Tsai's foreign policy and further strengthen relationships with nations that uphold the values of democracy, peace, and prosperity."

LDP Vice President Taro Aso and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen shake hands in Taipei on August 8. (© Presidential Office of Taiwan via Kyodo)

Furthermore, the Vice President emphasized the importance of Taiwan-Japan relations. He also expressed his intention to bolster bilateral discussions encompassing not only economic and cultural aspects but also security matters.

Taiwan-Japan Relations

In relation to the recent emphasis of Japan's Fumio Kishida administration on security policies, including defense budget increases, Lai commented, "While I avoid commenting on other countries' defense policies, I generally welcome initiatives that contribute to regional peace and security."

Additionally, Lai addressed the release of treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station to the ocean by Tokyo Electric Power Company on August 24. He asserted, "To reassure neighboring countries, the Japanese government should fulfill its responsibility to provide clear explanations."


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: Akio Yaita, Taipei Bureau Chief


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