Thu, Jan 17, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Ma promises 100 years of peace and prosperity

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that, if elected, he would lay the foundations for the nation's peace and prosperity for the next 100 years through his "three noes" policy -- no pursuit of unification, no Taiwanese independence and no use of force.

"By `no unification,' I mean during my term or terms of office I will not engage in any talks on unification between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan," Ma said in English during a keynote speech at a conference in Taipei organized by the New Taiwanese Foundation and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

"I will not pursue policies of de jure independence of Taiwan ... I will not use force and [I will] object to the use of force by either side of the Taiwan Strait to unilaterally change the status quo," he said.

Ma said these policies would help in "maintaining and consolidating the status quo of the Republic of China in Taiwan."

Ma said the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) attempts to achieve de jure independence had achieved nothing and damaged the mutual trust between Taiwan and its closest ally, the US.

Ma said he was confident that his "three noes" policy would be acceptable to Beijing and the international community and favorable to the people of Taiwan. He said China had shifted its policy on Taiwan from promotion of unification to prevention of Taiwanese independence.

During a question-and-answer session, Ma said if China continued to suppress Taiwan's attempts to participate in the international community it would only force Taiwanese to fight back.

Continued oppression could result in "something the People's Republic of China doesn't want to see," he said while urging the DPP government to take a "flexible" diplomatic approach and find common ground with Beijing.

Ma said his policies were not a zero-sum game that would threaten the "status quo," but a "workable model."

Ma also vowed to "uplift" and "upgrade" the nation's democracy.

He said it was "alarming" that research indicated Taiwanese people were less confident than other nationals in their democracy.

"We need to understand that democracy is not only about elections, but about fair play [in elections]. It is not about competing for power, but about compromise and cooperation," he said.

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