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DPP head urges president not to limit Taiwan's future

Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) Tsai Ing-wen (???), chairwoman and presidential candidate of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), urged President Ma Ying-jeou Wednesday not to limit Taiwan's future for the sake of his own status in history. Tsai said that like many people in Taiwan, she was caught off-guard by an announcement from the Presidential Office a day earlier that said Ma and Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) will meet in Singapore Nov. 7. The DPP chairwoman said Ma rushed to arrange the meeting with Xi only for the sake of elevating his status in history, without carefully taking into account Taiwan's interests, a move that she said could limit Taiwan's development. Tsai said that as Ma's second term will end in May 2016, people in Taiwan will not stand for him making any promises in the meeting for which he cannot take responsibility after his departure from office. She said that Ma does not have the right to promise anything in the meeting with Xi. The Presidential Office issued a statement late the previous day to announce the meeting, saying that Ma and Xi will not sign any agreements or issue any joint declaration after they meet. The statement said that the meeting is aimed at strengthening peace between Taiwan and China and maintaining the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. Any meetings of leaders between Taiwan and China should be taken very seriously, since such meetings involve Taiwan's dignity and interests, Tsai said. However, she went on, Ma released the news of his meeting with Xi in a sudden way, which could hurt Taiwan's democracy. After the meeting was announced, many people voiced their doubts about the event and Ma will have to face the distrust. She said that during Ma's term as Taiwan's president, the public has had little faith in the administration's cross-strait policy, and is now unwilling to see another non-transparent "black box" decision-making process for the upcoming meeting. Tsai said that the DPP is always glad to see dialogue across the Taiwan Strait, as long as the discussions are conducted in a reciprocal manner. She added that cross-strait dialogue should proceed with Taiwan's dignity in mind and with transparency, and that such meetings should not involve political issues. Tsai said she suspects that the Ma-Xi meeting is simply a move for the KMT to influence the upcoming presidential election scheduled for Jan. 16, and that such political manipulation will have a negative impact on the country and will not be accepted by the public. (By Yeh Su-ping and Frances Huang)

Updated : 2021-09-19 03:43 GMT+08:00