MAC urges joint cross-strait efforts on regional development

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Wednesday that Taiwan would like to engage in candid exchanges and pursue possibilities for cooperation and collaboration with China on common participation in regional development.

The MAC, the top government agency in charge of China policy, was responding to a statement issued earlier that day by China's Taiwan Affairs Office that said if the "one China" principle cannot be upheld, it would not be beneficial to Taiwan's participation in regional economic cooperation.

"If the 'one China' principle cannot be upheld, political mutual trust will no longer exist and is bound to have adverse effects" on Taiwan's participation in regional economic cooperation, said Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office, at a regular news conference.

Ma also said the "Go South Policy" proposed by Taiwan's former Presidents Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian had caused great losses to Taiwan.

"Such policy that served political purposes and violated economic law caused great losses to Taiwan businessmen and had a bad impact on Taiwan's economy," Ma said.

In response, the MAC pointed out that in President Tsai Ing-wen's inaugural speech she stated her administration's commitment to strengthening regional peace and stability and emphasized the importance of fostering closer economic links with other Asian countries.

As part of this commitment, President Tsai announced a new southbound policy to broaden exchanges in such areas as technology, culture, and commerce, and expand Taiwan's ties with ASEAN and India, the MAC said.

It reiterated Tsai's statement that Taiwan is willing to exchange views with the other side of the strait to explore possibilities for common participation in regional development and will work to maintain development, peace and stability in the strait and in the region.

The new government will "conduct cross-Strait affairs in accordance with the Republic of China Constitution, the Act Governing Relations Between the People of Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and other relevant legislation," the MAC said, quoting Tsai's speech.

Tsai has shown the utmost flexibility and goodwill on cross-strait ties, the MAC said, calling for the two sides to pragmatically face and deal with cross-strait relations.

The MAC also said the two sides must set aside the baggage of history, cherish the hard-earned fruits born from the over 20 years of bilateral interactions and negotiations and engage in positive dialogue for the benefit of their people. (By Chen Chia-lun and Evelyn Kao)

Updated : 2021-04-17 20:47 GMT+08:00