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KMT presidential candidate calls for rival to heed cross-strait ties

KMT presidential candidate calls for rival to heed cross-strait ties

Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) Hung Hsiu-chu (???), presidential candidate of the ruling Kuomintang, said Tuesday that many policies advocated by her rival Tsai Ing-wen (???) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), have already been carried out by the government under President Ma Ying-jeou(???). Hung was referring to Tsai's "new southward policy" unveiled earlier that day in which the DPP chairwoman said it is natural to step up overall relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India as the nation seeks to diversify its trade. Tsai, the front runner in the Jan. 16 presidential election next year, said that the nation's "go south policy" in the past was designed to encourage Taiwanese enterprises to increase investment in Southeast Asian countries, but her southward policy will not be confined only to trade and investment, but will also extend to civilian exchanges as well as cultural and educational links. Hung said Tsai's policy is in right direction, but she hoped that Tsai and the DPP would realize the fact that only a stable cross-strait relationship will form the basis of peace and security for the 23 million people of Taiwan. Relations with other countries will be complementary, but will not replace cross-strait relations, Hung's campaign office said in a news release. Moreover, the Ma administration has already carried out many things advocated by Tsai, noting that Taiwan's exports to the ASEAN countries had grown from 14 percent of total trade in 2008 to 19 percent in 2014, Hung said. Educational and cultural exchanges with the ASEAN and South Asian countries have also made progress, Hung said. Noting that Tsai said the DPP will abide by international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Hung said Taiwan has done exactly that in its foreign policy over the past seven years. Although Tsai's new southward policy is a well-intentioned one, it has ignored the impact of cross-strait relations on foreign relations, Hung said. As an aspiring leader of the nation, Tsai's foreign policy, which does not have stable cross-strait relation as its base, could lead the nation astray, Hung warned. Hung also said the disputed South China Sea is a serious issue, and one should firmly claim its sovereignty and not make empty statements. Tsai said earlier the day the DPP will heed the strategic interests of Taiwan in the South China Sea and is looking forward to conducting dialogues with related countries through diplomatic means. Six countries, including Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei claim sovereignty over part or all of the South China Sea. (By Tseng Ying-yu, Lee Shu-hua and Lilan Wu)


Updated : 2021-01-25 04:25 GMT+08:00