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Taipei, Seoul should work hand-in-hand for regional peace: Ma

Taipei, Seoul should work hand-in-hand for regional peace: Ma

Taipei, March 11 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Wednesday Taiwan and South Korea should work hand-in-hand to promote regional peace so that the Taiwan Strait and the Korean Peninsula will no longer be called "flashpoints" in East Asia.
Ma made the remarks while meeting with a parliamentary delegation of South Korea's ruling Grand National Party.
In the past, Ma said, many countries were wary of developing closer ties with Taiwan for fear of offending China.
Since taking office in May, his administration has spared no efforts to improve cross-strait relations as evidenced by the resumption of long-stalled direct dialogue, the launch of direct air, shipping and postal links as well as a wider opening of Taiwan to Chinese tourists, the president said.
So far, Chinese tourists have made more than 300,000 visits to Taiwan, Ma said, adding the increased civilian exchanges will be conducive to mutual understanding and amity.
Noting that improved cross-strait ties have spared other countries from having to make a difficult choice of engaging either Taiwan or China, Ma said Taiwan-South Korea relations have taken a stride forward since his inauguration.
Two-way trade between the two countries has also continued to grow, with Taiwan and South Korea being each other's fifth largest trading partner, Ma noted.
As the international community tends to brand the Taiwan Strait and the Korean Peninsula as "flashpoints" in East Asia, Ma said he hopes that the two countries can work together to shed that image as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Ma told his guests that Taiwan and Japan are likely to sign a working holiday agreement later this year to facilitate closer bilateral youth exchanges. If South Korea is interested in following suit, Ma said, his administration would be more than willing to strike a similar deal with Seoul.
(By Sofia Wu)




Updated : 2021-04-11 11:52 GMT+08:00