Thu, Feb 24, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Lu proposes `new cross-strait' ties across the Pacific

DIPLOMACY The vice president said business leaders should not only focus on China, but also map out opportunities in Central Asian countries

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday encouraged the private sector to cultivate and implement a "new cross-strait" relationship across the Pacific with Central American nations.

The vice president made the remarks yesterday during a meeting at the Presidential Office with a group of business representatives who are slated to travel with her to Latin America next month.

"Given that investments in China and Southeast Asia are gradually becoming problematic, I hope that people will care not only about the `old cross-strait' relations, but will also look eastward, toward the Pacific, and cultivate `new cross-strait' relations with Central American nations," she said.

Lu is scheduled to lead a delegation of business leaders and economic advisers on a two-week visit to El Salvador and Guatemala.

"In addition to its diplomatic purpose, I hope the visit will also help Taiwanese businesses to map out possible opportunities in the Central American region," she said.

Lu and her entourage are slated to depart for Central America on March 12. The delegation will also attend the Democratic Pacific Union's regional meeting to be held in Guatemala.

The union was formally formed last year with the aim of facilitating communication between Taiwan's allies in Central American and Asian countries, as well as promoting democracy, freedom and human rights.

While a stopover in the US will be arranged during Lu's trip, the details have yet to be finalized.

The return date has also not been finalized. Lu said they will return on either March 23 or March 24.

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