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Ma meets press to mark 7th anniversary of presidency

Ma meets press to mark 7th anniversary of presidency

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou (???) held an informal gathering with the media Monday as part of events to mark the seventh anniversary of his ascendancy to the presidency on May 20. During the gathering, Ma responded to various issues of interest to the press. Asked about progress of the military's plan to acquire new submarines, Ma said submarines are a priority item on the military's shopping list because the country's existing submarine fleet is ageing fast. At present, the government is promoting an indigenous submarine program, while continuing to seek to purchase the vessels from abroad, he said. He said the government will work toward the goal of finding a country that can supply submarines to Taiwan. Although the submarines are unlikely to be obtained within the coming year, his administration will make sure that the related policy will become more complete during the remainder of his term, he said. While commenting on the 2016 presidential bid by opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (???), Ma said he was surprised that maintaining the cross-Taiwan Strait status quo has become one of Tsai's campaign promises. He said that in any democratic countries, opposition leaders usually hope to change the status quo. The main campaign slogan adopted by U.S. President Barack Obama, for example, was "Change" during his first presidential campaign in 2008, he pointed out. Tsai, however, says that she wants to maintain the status quo that has been established by the ruling party over a period of seven years, he said. He questioned whether the DPP has any steps ready to actually ensure the status quo. He warned that Tsai will pay a price if she thinks cross-strait policy is not important, arguing that ties between Taiwan and the mainland have become so close that any change in relations can be felt immediately by the people. On a question on his widely viewed status as a lame duck president, Ma said he will do whatever he should do until the last day of his term, and that he does not care too much about his approval ratings. When asked if he was disappointed by a decision by ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (???) to not run in the 2016 presidential election, the president said the KMT has a complete primary system and that he will support any candidate produced by the party primary. (By Claudia Liu, Lee Shu-hua, Sophia Yeh and Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-09-17 03:24 GMT+08:00