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DPP presidential candidate unveils 'new southward policy'

DPP presidential candidate unveils 'new southward policy'

Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) Tsai Ing-wen (???), the presidential candidate of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said Tuesday that her party will promote a "new southward policy" to strengthen relations with Southeast Asian countries and India. Tsai said that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India will soon become major economies in the world and that "it is a natural choice for us to step up overall relations with ASEAN and India" as Taiwan seeks to diversify its trade. "In the future, we will establish a task force to actively execute the goals of the policy," she said. Tsai, the front runner in the Jan. 16, 2016 presidential election, made the remarks at a cocktail party for foreign envoys in Taiwan as the DPP celebrated the 29th anniversary of its founding. She said the nation's "go south policy" in the past was designed to encourage Taiwanese enterprises to increase investment in Southeast Asian countries, but she said trade and investment will only be a part of the cooperation under her southward policy. A diversified and multi-faceted trade partnership will also be established for civilian exchanges, as well as cultural and educational links, she said. On the DPP's foreign policy, Tsai said that "among us (the attendees at the party), there may be some countries whose national interests are not quite the same, and whose views on some issues might be different, but I believe all nations are striving for the same goals of peace, stability and prosperity." Tsai also said that "we are watching closely international events, including the recent Syrian refugee crisis." "We believe that there is a need to establish a domestic legal mechanism" to let Taiwan take part in the international community's assistance plan for helping refugees. The DPP will also make efforts to ease regional conflicts, citing the tension in the South China Sea as an example, she said. The DPP is cautiously heeding the strategic interests of Taiwan in the region, and is looking forward to conducting dialogues with related countries to solve disputes by diplomatic means. "To achieve this end, the DPP will abide by international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and respect navigational freedom," she said. The DPP will also step up trade and cultural relations with such democratic countries as the United States and Japan, based on mutual trust, respect and communication. In addition, "we hope to build a non-government organization (NGO) international center so that Taiwan can take the lead in supporting NGOs in the Asia-Pacific region to do valuable work," she said. More than 140 diplomatic personnel from 64 countries attended the party, including American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Kin Moy, Japan's Interchange Association Representative Mikio Numata, and Wong Wie Kuen, representative of the Singapore Trade Office in Taipei. Moy, who was accompanied by his wife, gave Tsai a big hug and they had a pleasant talk. Joseph Wu (???), DPP secretary-general, said the number of AIT personnel and foreign envoys attending the party was the largest on record. Wong for his part said he is glad to see any policies that will support regional development and cooperation. (By Sophia Yeh and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-01-27 05:36 GMT+08:00