Sun, Feb 19, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan and China must work for peace, Ma says


After decades of tension, it is time for Taiwan and China to work towards a peaceful resolution, Chinese Nationalist Party Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said on Friday in the Belgian capital.

Ma said he has been thinking about ways to help both sides of the Taiwan Strait get around their differences and achieve cross-strait peace.

He said the views that he unveiled during his speech in Britain earlier in the week were only a beginning and that he firmly believes a more complete conceptual framework will be gradually formed in the future.

Ma made the remarks during a gathering with the Taiwanese media before departing from Belgium, the final leg of his five-nation European trip that also took him to Italy, Switzerland, Britain and Ireland.

He is scheduled to return to Taipei today.

During a speech on cross-strait relations given on Monday at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Ma defined the relationship between Taiwan and China as "equal political partners under a `one China' framework."

Regarding Ma's comments that Taiwan needs a more open policy toward China, Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) strongly voiced his disagreement yesterday.

"Taiwan is a maritime country. It should reach out to the world and not just lock itself to China," Wu said, questioning Ma's motive for calling Taiwan to open up more to China when the purpose of his on-going trip to Europe was to solicit businesspeople to invest in Taiwan.

When talking about the national identity split in Taiwan, Ma said on Friday that the nation should seek to solve the problem from a more liberal perspective based on the concepts of peace, prosperity and democracy.

Ma noted that the situation faced by Taiwan today is no better than five or 10 years ago because of the domestic differences over the question of unification versus independence and the low degree of recognition enjoyed by the country internationally.

He said the democratic development of Taiwan is one of the country's most important assets and that Taiwan should make good use of this asset to make other countries like and help Taiwan.

This would help to avoid creating the impression that Taiwan is a "troublemaker."

In addition, he said Taiwan should further enhance its internationalization efforts and adopt a more open policy toward the international community, including China.

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