Mon, May 08, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Ma says KMT does not need a Beijing go-between

CNA , SINGAPORE

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that his party had no plans at present to invite former Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀) to serve as its messenger to the Beijing leadership.

Ma made the remarks while fielding questions from reporters after a morning jogging at a local botanical park. Traveling at the head of a delegation comprising several Taipei City councilors and government officials, Ma arrived in Singapore on Saturday night for a three-day visit.

Ma said that the KMT leadership had built an exchange platform with Beijing, so it was unnecessary for the party to convey any messages to Beijing leaders through Lee, who is scheduled to make a week-long visit to China starting on Wednesday.

The KMT maintains regular contacts with the Beijing leadership but will not violate relevant regulations while engaging in exchanges with China, Ma said.

Ma said that while in Singapore, he will meet with several of his "old friends" to exchange views on issues of mutual concern. Ma and his entourage are scheduled to return to Taipei tomorrow.

The KMT head also extended congratulations to Singapore's ruling People's Action Party (PAP) for its victory in Saturday's elections.

Referring to a media report that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is considering refusing to make a transit stop in Anchorage, Alaska, on his return trip to Taiwan from Central America in order to safeguard Taiwan's dignity, Ma voiced the hope that Chen would stop in Anchorage as doing so would help the government mend relations with the US.

The president had originally hoped to make transit stops in New York and San Francisco en route to and from Latin America. The US, however, suggested that Chen stop in Anchorage, Alaska and Honolulu, Hawaii, thus prompting him to fly westward with refueling stops in Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam in "an effort to safeguard Taiwan's dignity."

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