Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), former premier and the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) vice presidential candidate, yesterday urged critics to stop what he claimed were "twisted attacks" on his cross-strait common market proposal.
Siew made the plea on his return from an overseas trip at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport while answering questions from reporters about President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) comments that a so-called cross-strait common market was in reality a "one China market."
While saying that such attacks are merely "election rhetoric" as the legislative and presidential elections approach, Siew claimed that all similar criticisms are "full of distorted and simplified viewpoints" that can be easily rebutted.
Siew thanked Chen for his encouragement when he set up a foundation several years ago to broach the common market idea, but also questioned why "twisted criticism" of the proposal is now rife.
Saying that although economics cannot always be rid of political influence, he insisted that respecting market mechanisms is the key to improving a nation's economic situation.
The cross-strait common market concept is not the economic centerpiece of the KMT's presidential election campaign, rather the party aims to build an independent, dignified, open and pragmatic economy for Taiwan, Siew said.
After traveling the world over the past few years, Siew said he now realizes that experience must be coupled with new world trends to iron out visionary approaches, and this is exactly what he and his KMT running mate, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), are keen to pursue for Taiwan.
Stating that bickering was not his election style, Siew said he hopes to win the public's endorsement with his ideals and philosophy.
Ma announced that Siew, a veteran technocrat familiar with Taiwan's economic affairs, would be his running mate last month.