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Ma tries to reassure Taiwan he won't sell out to China

President claims he will listen to the voice of the people when setting government's agenda

 Taiwan supporters shout slogans during a rally to denounce China  in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008. Over a hundred thousand protesters join...
 Taiwan supporters rally to denounce China  in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008. Over a hundred thousand protesters joined the rally Saturday a...

Taiwan Protest

Taiwan supporters shout slogans during a rally to denounce China in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008. Over a hundred thousand protesters join...

Taiwan Protest

Taiwan supporters rally to denounce China in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008. Over a hundred thousand protesters joined the rally Saturday a...

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) sought to allay fears his government would sell out the island in negotiations with Beijing yesterday, following a mass anti-China demonstration.
The Hong Kong-born politician defended his record of closer ties with China as he spoke at a gathering while visiting the northern city of Keelung.
"Although I was not born here, I grew up eating Taiwan rice and drinking Taiwan water....I will by no means betray Taiwan," he said.
"Since I was elected by the people, I will listen carefully to the voice of the people and put them on top of the government's agenda," Ma said.
Relations with Beijing have improved dramatically since Ma came to power and he has promised to boost business and tourism links with China following eight years of strained relations under the government of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Ma's remarks came one day after hundreds of thousands of people took to the capital city, denouncing Taipei's warming ties with Beijing, which they said threaten the self-ruled island's sovereignty.
Organizers claimed that up to 600,000 people took part in the biggest demonstration since Ma, of the China-friendly Kuomintang, took office in May. Taipei police authorities put the turnout at around 180,000.
The crowd hit out at the planned visit of Beijing's top Taiwan negotiator in little over a week and voiced anger at a series of Chinese export scandals including milk products tainted by the industrial chemical melamine.
Liu Teh-hsun, spokesman for Taiwan's China policy decision-making body Mainland Affairs Council, repeated yesterday the government's line that no political issues would be discussed in the coming talks.
Chen Yunlin, head of China's quasi-official Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, is expected to arrive on Nov. 3 for the first such high-level talks held in Taiwan.


Updated : 2021-05-16 19:54 GMT+08:00