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Removing Chinese missiles prerequisite for peace accord: president

Removing Chinese missiles prerequisite for peace accord: president

Taipei, April 6 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou renewed Tuesday his call for China "to remove or actually dismantle" its missiles targeting Taiwan as a prerequisite for talks on a cross-Taiwan Strait peace accord.
Ma also reaffirmed his policy of maintaining the status quo across the strait, saying the conditions are not yet ripe for unification.
He made the remarks in response to questions on cross-strait relations, during a video conference linking Taipei with Harvard University faculty and students.
According to Ma, Taiwan is well aware of China's ambition to annex Taiwan, but it has to face up to the reality, try to temper cross-strait tensions and prevent China from using force against Taiwan.
"We also demand that the mainland should remove or actually dismantle all the missiles that are targeted against Taiwan.
Otherwise we won't be interested in making further step to negotiate a peace agreement with them," the president said.
In pursuing cross-strait peace, Taiwan also puts a priority on maintaining its military power so that it will serve as a deterrent and protect Taiwan's security, Ma said.
He said Taiwan will insist that the two sides seek a peaceful resolution of their differences and strengthen their economic and cultural exchanges to lower the risk of military conflict.
"I have always considered mainland China both a risk and an opportunity. My policy is to maximize the opportunity, but minimize the risk. And this is exactly what I have been doing," he said.
Ma said the past 60 years have provided a rare opportunity for the two sides to engage in a political, economic and social experiment, resulting in "a very clear contrast" in terms of their respective development.
"We understand the time for unification at this stage is not ripe yet. The majority, the mainstream opinion in Taiwan, believes the status quo should be maintained," Ma said.
In his speech titled "The Quest for Modernity, " Ma said a society that is truly modernizing should not be limited to wealth and power but must also include the foundations for freedom and democracy.
"So I am proud to say that the Republic of China on Taiwan has in fact achieved all these three pillars," he said.
To the ROC, Ma said, the last century was "nothing short of an exclamation mark" because it has been 100 years of experimentation and education before a people learned that they too have the unequivocal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Ma said his administration has been working to build up Taiwan's "soft power" and transform the Taiwan Strait from a major flash point into a conduit for regional peace and prosperity.
The policy of flexible diplomacy and the pursuit of a diplomatic truce with China has also helped end the vicious cycle of diplomatic warfare between the two sides, according to Ma.
(By Garfie Li and Y.F. Low)




Updated : 2021-04-21 13:27 GMT+08:00