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Taiwan: Taiwan continues to seek peace, rapprochement with China: Ma

Taiwan: Taiwan continues to seek peace, rapprochement with China: Ma

President Ma Ying-jeou said Monday that Taiwan had effectively ended cross-Taiwan Strait tensions through engagement over the past three years and was seeking greater peace with mainland China by institutionalizing cross-strait relations and rapprochement.

Speaking to members of a Canadian parliamentary delegation at the Presidential Office, Ma said his administration had worked to turn cross-strait impasse and standoff into rapprochement and consultation. This development has helped to develop cross-strait trade, investment and exchanges by leaps and bounds, he said.

Today, there are 558 passenger flights operating across the strait each week, contributing much not only to engagement between people, but also reducing the chances of cross-strait conflict, he said.

"We do not think an arms race with mainland China is in the best interests of Taiwan or the region; that's why we are opting for peace and rapprochement," the president told the Canadian lawmakers.

Turning to Taiwan's relations with Canada, Ma said about 150,000 Taiwanese citizens visit Canada each year, and Canada remains one of the top choices for Taiwanese students.

He said the number of Taiwanese visiting Canada will continue to grow in the wake of Canada's granting of visa-free treatment for Taiwan citizens and its working holiday agreement with Taiwan in 2010.

"Taiwanese tourists are big spenders too," he added.

Ma also expressed appreciation for Canada's staunch support of Taiwan's efforts to participate in global organizations and activities.