Sun, Sep 04, 2005 - Page 3 News List

A timetable on cross-strait affairs is risky, DPP says

CNA , TAIPEI

Taiwan should not set a timetable on cross-strait affairs lest the nation lose bargaining power in its dealings with China, a spokesman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦), director of the DPP's Department of Culture and Information, made the remarks after Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said in a television interview on Friday that he will push for the implementation of direct cross-strait trade and transportation links within two years if his party wins the 2008 presidential election.

Cheng criticized the remarks as demonstrating Ma's "lack of thorough consideration," which the DPP spokesman said demonstrates that Ma is "incapable of handling cross-strait issues."

Cheng said that the KMT tried in the past to add a clause for accelerating the implementation of direct cross-strait transportation to the revised Statute Governing the Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area but that the party eventually gave up because of the people's opposition.

The DPP spokesman said that setting a timetable for issues involving cross-strait exchanges would be a "self-confining approach" that would undermine Taiwan's bargaining position in negotiations with China.

He said that not setting a timetable will give Taiwan maximum flexibility and maneuvering room.

Cheng also pointed out that the levels of freedom of speech, religion and assembly in China are still lagging far behind those of many other countries.

He said Ma's affirmation that China is moving in the direction of freedom and democracy is "overly optimistic," suggesting that Ma stress Taiwan's democratic values and work with other countries in the world to prod China toward democracy.

This story has been viewed 2582 times.
TOP top