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Tsai unveils Go South policy

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Tsai unveils Go South policy

Tsai unveils Go South policy

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday announced a Go South policy favoring ties with India and Southeast Asia.
During the rule of President Lee Teng-hui in the 1990s, Taiwan already emphasized trade links with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and to a lesser extent, India. Tsai’s new policy is seen as an attempt to wean Taiwan’s economy away from the excessive reliance on China built up during the government of President Ma Ying-jeou.
As Taiwan hopes to diversify its trade, the natural choice is to strengthen relations overall with ASEAN and India, Tsai said, promising the formation of a special government taskforce to push the new policy.
She unveiled the proposals during an address to foreign diplomats and representatives in Taiwan on the occasion of the DPP’s 29th anniversary. Tsai, who chairs the opposition party, is widely expected to win the January 16 presidential election.
She told her audience that her plans for a Go South policy differed from earlier versions because they included much more than just trade and investment. The partnerships also needed to focus on culture and education to be truly pluralist, according to Tsai.
At least 37 official representatives or their deputies and 100 other diplomats from 34 countries attended the DPP event, including American Institute in Taiwan Director Kin Moy and his spouse, reports said.
Tsai reportedly said that Taiwan should establish a domestic legal structure which would allow the country to assist the Syrian refugee problem currently buffeting Europe.
She also said Taiwan should increase its dialogue with nations in the region in order to reduce tension in the South China Sea area which was threatening decades of peace and stability.
Taiwan should also become a regional center for the activity of non-government organizations, she said. In that light, the country would adhere to United Nations agreements regarding freedom of navigation, oceans and international law, she emphasized.