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Taiwan president calls for end to confrontation between overseas Chinese

A file photo of President Ma Ying-jeou. Ma said on May 9 that there will not be a full opening to Chinese investment in Taiwan during a TV interview.

A file photo of President Ma Ying-jeou. Ma said on May 9 that there will not be a full opening to Chinese investment in Taiwan during a TV interview.

The confrontation between pro-Taiwan overseas Chinese and pro-China Chinese people living abroad should be brought to an end, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said Tuesday.

"We won't oppose overseas Chinese groups, which support us, to engage with China,” Ma said while receiving a delegation from the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association in New York, a group of ethnic Chinese people living in the United States.

Ma noted that the political divide that used to exist between Taiwan and China has split overseas Chinese into two different camps depending on their affiliation with Beijing or Taipei, with the two camps sometimes confrontational toward each other.

"I hope the confrontation will be wiped off gradually," now that relations between Taiwan and China is improving, Ma told the group.

Also remarking on his administration's efforts to improve ties with China ever since it took office about one year ago, Ma said: "I hope the atmosphere of detente across the strait will expand to other fields, not least the field of diplomacy."

Ma remarked that he exercised the policy of “diplomatic truce” and that Taipei has stopped trying to win over China's allies, hoping China will match Taipei's efforts by not undermining Taiwan's ties with its allies.

Ma reiterated that through cross-strait exchanges, Taiwan has actually gained international space, citing Taiwan's admission to the World Health Assembly in Geneva later this month as an example. Unlike in the past, Beijing refrained from blocking Taiwan’s participation this time.

Since Ma took office almost one year ago, Taiwan and its long-term rival held three rounds of talks via semi-official government bodies and signed on joint agreements to launch cross-strait flights, shipping links, open up the island for Chinese tourists, etc. The ruling party mulls inking a trade pact with China by the end of this year.


Updated : 2021-03-05 00:51 GMT+08:00