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Ma says Taiwan is in no hurry to sign China peace treaty

President says 2 sides have more important things to discuss, such as trade, investment

 Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou answers questions during a press briefing with foreign journalists about issues of his first six months in office in ...

Taiwan President

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou answers questions during a press briefing with foreign journalists about issues of his first six months in office in ...

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that signing a peace treaty with political rival China, which sees the island as its own, was not an urgent matter because trade issues were more pressing.
"This is something that both sides have in mind, but it's not really an urgent question for both sides to engage each other on because hostility or even the atmosphere of hostility across the Taiwan Strait has been reduced to an all-time low," Ma told a news conference with foreign correspondents.
Communist China has claimed sovereignty over the island since 1949, when Mao Zedong's forces won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek's KMT fled to Taiwan.
Technically the two sides are still at war, as no peace treaty has ever been signed.
"We do have other, more urgent issues in the areas of trade and investment," said Ma, who took office in May.
Ma pledged during his campaign that he would try to reach a peace treaty with China to end six decades of enmity that has occasionally brought the two sides to the brink of battle.
He has played up China-Taiwan trade deals, seen as crucial to jump starting the island's recession-bound economy.
Ma's government and Beijing have signed landmark direct flight and cargo deals this year to cut travel and shipping costs for Taiwan investors, about 750,000 of whom work in China.
The two sides plan to discuss deals on financial services, double taxation and crime fighting at talks in early 2009, Ma said. Prevention of disease epidemics will also be on the agenda, his vice president, Vincent Siew, said earlier in the day.
But China has not removed more than 1,000 short-range and mid-range missiles aimed at Taiwan, Ma said. He said the island still wanted to buy F-16 fighter jets from the United States to update its military.


Updated : 2022-01-20 15:22 GMT+08:00

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