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Ex-premier calls on China to choose peace

Yu Shyi-kun represents Tsai at Trump inauguration

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Ex-Premier Yu Shyi-kun (center).

Ex-Premier Yu Shyi-kun (center). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Speaking in the United States where he will represent Taiwan at the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, ex-Premier Yu Shyi-kun called on China’s President Xi Jinping to consider peace and to sit down for talks with Taiwan.

President Tsai Ing-wen sent Yu and his 11-member delegation to Washington, D.C. to attend the January 20 presidential inauguration.

At a news conference in New York Tuesday local time, Yu described his mission as deepening economic and trade relations between Taiwan and the U.S., seeking peace in the Asia Pacific together, and help Taiwan improve its participation in the international community.

Turning to relations with China, the former premier called on Beijing to use a rational attitude and seek a “virtuous cycle” through realistic negotiations in order to end up with a positive outcome for both sides. President Xi should consider the universal value of peace and understand Taiwan’s sincerity in wanting to improve relations and promote contacts, Yu said.

The former premier also emphasized Taiwan’s importance to regional peace, noting its geographical position at the nexus of the East China Sea, the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea. Taiwan played a key role in maintaining peace in the three areas, which amounted to keeping the Asia Pacific region peaceful, he said.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was reportedly working to establish contacts between Yu’s delegation and officials of the incoming Trump Administration, but even if meetings took place, they would not be made public, the ex-premier said.

Considering the U.S. president-elect’s harsh words about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Taiwanese delegation emphasized the importance of a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. instead.

Yu’s group included legislators from four major political parties, as well as Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung, Chiayi County Magistrate Chang Hwa-kuan, and National Security Council adviser Tung Chen-yuan.