--- Offered Several Olive Branches to Beijing
Several Olive Branches to Beijing
In a stunning victory, Chen defeated outgoing Vice President Lien Chan of the Kuomintang and independent candidate James Soong in the March 18 elections.
Chen has since offered several olive branches to Beijing and said he will not move towards independence.
But he has so far refused to accept the “one China” principle --- Beijing’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan --- but has offered to discuss the issue. He has firmly rejected unification under the “one country, two systems” formula, which Beijing uses to rule Hong Kong and Macau.
The two sides of the Taiwan Strait were separated in 1949, when the communist forces defeated the KMT at the end of a civil war. Beijing made repeated threats of war against Taiwan in the run-up to the election, warning voters not to opt for Chen.