TAIPEI -- A televised debate among three candidates for the upcoming election of Taiwan leader was held Saturday in Taipei, with cross-Strait issues highlighted in the first face-to-face debate before the Jan. 14 election.
The candidates - Ma Ying-jeou, chairman of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party, Tsai Ing-wen who represents the island's major opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and People First Party (PFP) chairman James Soong - stated their political views respectively and debated with each other.
Both Ma and Soong stressed the adherence to the 1992 Consensus in order to maintain peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.
In November 1992, the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation reached the consensus that each of the two organizations verbally acknowledges that "both sides of the Taiwan Straits adhere to the one-China principle."
Ma said the 1992 Consensus was "the best way" for the two sides to settle disputes and achieve win-win situation.
"If the 1992 Consensus was not adhered to, cross-Strait relations will be thrown to an uncertain state, or even regress," Ma said.
While acknowledging achievement of cross-Strait relations since 2005 such as the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) across the Strait, Soong called for seeking "common benefits for all" with cross-Strait peaceful development as the precondition.
However, Tsai continued to deny the 1992 Consensus and said that a "Taiwan consensus" should be made before negotiating with the Chinese mainland.
The three candidates also expressed own views on judicial reform, finance and issues concerning people's livelihood.
The televised debate was held by the Taiwan Public Television Service and other local media.
Two more debates will be held on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17.