Sat, Jun 02, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Ma Ying-jeou accuses government of isolating Taiwan

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Accusing the government of isolating Taiwan in terms of its foreign relations, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday pledged to seek membership in international organizations including the World Bank should he win next year's presidential election.

Ma proposed a four-point plan to forge a new path for Taiwan's diplomacy.

Describing the government's foreign policy as "amateurish, capricious, dogmatic and based on brinkmanship," Ma vowed to improve cross-strait relations, boost the economy and expand the nation's influence in international communities with his four-point plan, based on "engagement, economy, elasticity and equality."

"We need to find a new modus vivendi or model of living to break the diplomatic isolation... We have to reach a consensus with China beforehand," Ma said while addressing a Model United Nations students' conference at National Chengchi University.

Ma said that Taiwan should resume engagement and negotiations with China on the issue of the nation's international space.

"The issue should be resolved on the basis of pragmatism, not zero-sum games," he said.

Ma also pledged to normalize Taiwan's trade relations with China, and make efforts to re-enter international economic bodies, especially the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), of which Taiwan was a member until 1980.

As the world's 18th-largest economic entity, Ma said, Taiwan should be able to exercise its economic influence, develop relations with IMF member countries, including China, and work toward entering the IMF, which now accepts only UN member countries.

Accusing the government of "rigid dogmatism" on foreign policy, such as "inflexibly using the name `Taiwan'" to apply for WHO membership, Ma said that the KMT would employ more flexible methods to develop foreign relations, such as being less rigid on the name issue while demanding equality in terms of the country's rights in international organizations.

Rather than pouring all efforts into joining the WHO and the UN, Ma suggested that the nation should attach more importance to promoting the country's role as a full member in the WTO, including providing training to negotiators to help expand economic relations.

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