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Taiwan discusses easiest issues first in talks with China: President Ma Ying-jeou

Taiwan discusses easiest issues first in talks with China: President Ma Ying-jeou

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Ma Ying-jeou on Friday compared talks with China to a primary school student solving a math exam, saying he would tackle the easier parts first.
Ma was speaking to Taiwan’s top cross-straits negotiator, Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman P.K. Chiang, and his delegation, who are traveling to Nanjing to hold talks and sign agreements with China this coming Sunday.
“A primary school student will first answer the easy questions, and that is a method we should not forget now we have grown up,” Ma said.
The biggest result of one year of talks was increased trust between Taiwan and China, Ma told Chiang. The president rejected opposition charges that he had sold out the country’s interests and sovereignty. During the eight years of Democratic Progressive Party rule, Taiwan had missed too many opportunities, Ma said, adding his government had been forced to catch up with the world within a very short time.
Chiang is expected to sign agreements Sunday about financial cooperation, the joint fight against crime including the extradition of fugitives from China, and the launch of regular direct flights. After the meetings, Chiang and his Chinese counterpart, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Chairman Chen Yunlin, are also expected to issue a joint declaration about opening up Taiwan to Chinese investments.
Talking to reporters at a separate news conference, Chiang described his upcoming trip as “a voyage of cooperation and double win,” echoing the president’s remarks that Taiwan was interested in first solving practical issues before discussing more difficult topics.
The Nanjing talks are the third round of cross-straits negotiations since Ma took office last May after years of strained relations between Taiwan and China.
Chiang said the president had instructed him also to mention Taiwan’s proposal for an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China at the Nanjing talks. The proposal has caused a strong backlash from the opposition and from traditional sectors of the economy for its vagueness.
Negotiations about ECFA are not expected to take place until the fourth round of cross-straits talks by the end of this year.
The opposition is skeptical about Ma underestimating the threat from Beijing, accusing him of sacrificing Taiwan’s sovereignty. His policies will result in Taiwan’s economy becoming too dependent on China, while local business and workers will suffer
The small pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union warned against the dangers of allowing Chinese investors in Friday.
“If the maximum percentage of Chinese investment in Taiwanese companies is too high, China will be able to take away Taiwanese technology by buying up local firms,” said TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei.
At the Legislative Yuan, DPP lawmaker Chai Trong-rong pointed out the danger of Chinese investors taking over Taiwanese media companies and brainwashing the public.


Updated : 2021-10-28 12:43 GMT+08:00