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Experts urge Taiwan's new leader not to avoid 1992 Consensus

TAIPEI, Jan. 18 -- Experts on Taiwan have suggested that newly-elected leader Tsai Ing-wen should not avoid the 1992 Consensus to maintain cross-Strait relations.

Without the 1992 Consensus, the constructive development of ties having been achieved since 2008 will stall, said Yang Kai-huang, director of the Cross-Strait Research Center at Ming Chuan University, in an interview with Xinhua on Monday.

During the election, Tsai remained ambiguous about the 1992 Consensus. Having won the election she should reconsider her strategy on this issue, Yang stressed.

As an export-oriented economy, Taiwan has a limited domestic market and declining competitiveness, he said, adding that the mainland market is key to the island's economic restructuring and recovery.

Tsai promised not to be provocative on cross-Strait issues in her winning speech on the election day, but denying the 1992 Consensus would be an act of provocation, said Chao Chien-min from the Chinese Culture University, at a seminar held Sunday.

On several occasions during the election campaign, Tsai said that both sides should seek common grounds and shelve their differences, which also featured the cross-Strait talks in 1992.

Chao Chun-shan, president of the Foundation on Asia-Pacific Peace Studies, called for Tsai to clarify what she meant by the "common grounds the two sides should seek now" and what differences should be put aside.

Chao suggested that Taiwan should not deny its historical and cultural connections with the mainland, warning that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will incite unrest if the cross-Strait issue is not handled correctly.

Instead of outlining a well-defined cross-Strait policy during the campaign, the DPP avoided the topic, he said.

"Voters were not presented with two choices," he said.

Issues inside Taiwan, such as economic slowdown, governance and an expanding wealth gap, dominated the campaign, while all three candidate pairs promised to maintain the current cross-Strait relations, said Yan Anlin, deputy director of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, at Sunday's seminar.