Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (
Ma told a press conference at the end of his one-day visit to Geneva that the KMT's stance on cross-strait relations is starkly different to that of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, but that this did not imply that he and the KMT were "pro-Beijing."
Ma said that the KMT firmly advocates closer cross-strait exchanges and the opening of direct postal, trade and transportation links between Taiwan and China.
The policy was based on the needs of Taiwanese businesspeople operating in China and was aimed at helping these enterprises make more money and become more competitive in the world market, he said.
Ma dismissed DPP criticisms that the KMT supports unification with China, saying that while the KMT does consider "ultimate cross-strait unification" an option in its cross-strait policy, unification can only be achieved after China has evolved into a country of freedom, democracy and prosperity, and on condition that the majority of Taiwanese voters consent to it.
He added that none of these conditions for the implementation of cross-strait unification had been met, and that the KMT had no timetable in this regard.
The goal of the KMT's cross-strait policy is to achieve peace and prosperity for Taiwan, and the party would advocate maintaining the status quo while boosting bilateral exchanges and mutual understanding across the Strait, Ma said.
In response to a Hong Kong journalist, Ma said he had not been invited by Beijing to visit China and that he did not think that now was the right time to do so.
Asked about his goals and responsibilities as KMT chairman, Ma said he would see to it that the KMT wins back power in the 2008 presidential election.
He added that the KMT would have to fight an uphill battle to win the election, and that the party needed to tackle several challenges, including changing the mentality of party members, rebuilding voter confidence and dealing with controversies surrounding KMT assets.
During his visit to Geneva, Ma met Swiss officials for talks on bilateral cooperation, and he exchanged views with specialists on the World Economic Forum on a range of topics.
Ma departed Geneva for London on Thursday evening to continue his five-nation European tour, which has taken him to Italy and will also take him to Ireland and Belgium.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and
TRACING UNDER WAY: The CECC has identified six transmission chains among 25 recently confirmed COVID-19 cases, including those linked to a restaurant and a bank The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 54 new COVID-19 infections — 44 imported and 10 local — and identified six transmission chains among local cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the imported cases are 18 who tested positive upon arrival at the airport and 26 who tested positive during quarantine. Of the local cases, seven are associated with a cluster infection at a Tasty Steak (西堤牛排) outlet in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District (中壢), one is linked to a family of four with COVID-19 reported on Monday, one is a family member of an