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No rush to engage in political talks with China: Ma

No rush to engage in political talks with China: Ma

President Ma Ying-jeou has ruled out the possibility of Taiwan entering into political discussions with China soon, despite growing ties between the two sides.
Ma said in a recent interview with Singapore-based Channel NewsAsia that Taiwan must be very careful about the matter and should not rush the process, because after 60 years of separation, Taiwan and China need some time to understand their differences.
He suggested that the two sides maintain the status quo and set aside any decision on whether to make a political change.
The president noted that former chairman of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Lien Chan and Communist Party of China General-Secretary Hu Jintao agreed in 2005 to push for the signing of a cross-Taiwan Strait peace accord and establishment of a military confidence-building mechanism.
However, Ma said, these goals are not intended to be achieved in the near future.
He reiterated that before Taipei can begin any negotiations with Beijing on the signing of a peace accord, China must first remove its missiles aimed at Taiwan.
On the question of whether he plans to meet with Hu in his capacity as chairman of the KMT, Ma said although the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have developed healthy relations over the past 17 months since his inauguration, the time is not ripe for a meeting between their leaders.
However, the president said he will not rule out the possibility of such meeting in the future, but added that it is not a priority issue at the moment.
At present, he said, economic issues should be given priority over political issue because economics, rather than politics, is what is most relevant to the people's life.
Ma said the proposed cross-strait economic cooperation framework agreement is very important to both sides because it will help institutionalize and normalize their economic and trade ties.
While bilateral trade between Taiwan and China was valued at more than US$130 billion in 2008, there is currently no agreement in place to provide any protection for businesses, he noted.
Ma again gave the assurance that the pact will be purely economic in nature and will not involve cross-strait political issues, such as "one country, two systems," or "one China." The interview was conducted Nov. 3 and was broadcast on the English-language station Wednesday.


Updated : 2021-07-26 13:18 GMT+08:00