Tue, Nov 13, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Hsieh to pursue peace, but not with Ma

CROSS-STRAIT CONUNDRUM Both presidential candidates thanked former UMC chairman Robert Tsao for his proposals, but said they would follow their own policies

By Ko Shu-ling and Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The presidential candidates of the two main parties yesterday thanked former United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) chairman Robert Tsao (曹興誠) for his proposal that they work together for a cross-strait peace agreement between Taiwan and China.

Tsao ran an advertisement in four major Chinese-language newspapers yesterday, including the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper) and the United Daily News, urging Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rival, Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), to cooperate and push for cross-strait "peaceful coexistence legislation" to "completely solve the cross-strait problem and end the political wrangling within the nation."

Calling himself "a citizen concerned about the nation," Tsao said the cross-strait conflict could be resolved if the two sides of the Taiwan Strait use referendums as a peaceful means to solve the cross-strait gridlock.

Hsieh said that he appreciated Tsao's proposal and concern for the political situation.

"Cross-strait peace is a common goal shared by all parties," he said. "I myself will strive to reach the goal if I am elected."

Asked whether he would be willing to work together with Ma to put Tsao's proposal into practice, Hsieh said he would make every effort to push for peace, but not with Ma.

"The suggestion that we jointly push the initiative sounds strange," he said. "Since there is only one president, it makes more sense that the president and the government lead the country to advance that goal."

He said political parties can cooperate like businesses and that they should not always try to annihilate one another, but sometimes work together to create a win-win situation.

"The media seem to be more interested in seeing Ma and I brawl like professional wrestlers," he said. "Actually we can work together and find common ground."

Meanwhile, Ma reiterated that he would pursue peace talks with China under the premise that China first remove its missiles targeting Taiwan, if he wins the presidential election.

"The most important thing at the moment is to establish the groundwork for [cross-strait] peace because whether the nation should be united [with China] or not is a long-term matter," Ma said.

"What we need to do at the moment is put an end to the hostility the two sides show toward each other. If we do not put an end to the hostility, leaders of both sides will have some blind spots and leave some urgent problems aside. This is a real pity," he said.

Ma said he had previously proposed the signing of a peace agreement with China and was grateful for Tsao's suggestion, but he believed dealing with cross-strait affairs through negotiation would be more effective.

Ma said the KMT and China had reached an "initial consensus" when former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) visited China two years ago, adding that the KMT would continue to push the peace agreement proposal if it regains power next year.

In the ad, Tsao also called on the two presidential candidates to halt their parties' respective referendum bids on entry to the UN, saying that the proposed referendums were nothing but "slogans."

"The world may question the validity of Taiwan's other referendums if we hold the two referendums recklessly," Tsao said.

Tsao said his proposed legislation should include six focal points, including confirmation that Taiwan will not hold an independence referendum because "Taiwan, or the Republic of China [ROC], has stated its independent statehood."

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