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President vows to communicate with opposition

President vows to communicate with opposition

Taipei, Feb. 18 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou (???), whose ruling Kuomintang suffered a crushing defeat in local elections late last year, vowed on Wednesday to more closely heed public opinion and communicate more effectively with opposition parties. In his Chinese New Year's Eve message, the president promised that his administration would beef up efforts to meet the public's expectations. He also urged his fellow countrymen to join forces with him in promoting reconciliation throughout society, cooperation between the ruling and opposition parties, and peace with China. Ma said there were many positive developments in 2014, including high numbers of new births and marriages in a country suffering from declining birth rates and an aging population. The president said there were 210,000 children born in Taiwan in 2014, the second most in a decade, and 150,000 marriages, the third most in a decade. Ma lauded the incentives offered by several big companies to encourage their employees to have more children, including providing generous subsidies to employees who give birth to their second or third children. The president also touted the country's 3.74 percent economic growth rate in 2014, which set a three-year high, the 3.96 percent jobless rate, which set a seven-year low, and a booming stock market that generated an average gain of NT$360,000 (US$11,401) per investor. Looking ahead to the coming year, the president drew a rosy picture, citing several think tanks as predicting further improvement in the economy, with nearly 80 percent of private companies expected to give their employees raises. He expressed gratitude to his fellow countrymen for their efforts in bringing about these blessings and wished everybody a happy new year. (By Kevan Huang and Maubo Chang)


Updated : 2021-09-19 02:10 GMT+08:00