Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) would only close the door to cross-strait negotiations and not contribute to a better economy for Taiwan, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday.
Criticizing Hsieh for following President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) policy which Ma branded "closed-door", Ma said Taiwan should take advantage of China's economic power to create economic benefits.
"The KMT has proposed normalizing cross-strait economic relations, but we will not open the Taiwanese market to Chinese workers," Ma said during a visit to Hsinchu County yesterday.
Ma made the remarks in response to Hsieh's criticism that his proposed cross-strait common market would result in a flood of Chinese agricultural imports and workers in Taiwan.
He added Hsieh's criticism stems from his own lack of a clear cross-strait policy. "He should explain his cross-strait policies better, instead of attacking mine," Ma said.
KMT vice presidential candidate Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), who has advocated the establishment of a cross-strait common market, echoed Ma's view, called for an economic strategy that promotes openness and pragmatism.
"Dignity and autonomy are derived from strength, and strength is built through pragmatic means. Taiwan's economic clout can be brought to bear only through openness in our external relations," Siew said before a forum held by the party's youth league yesterday.
Attending a ceremony later yesterday to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937, Ma criticized the DPP government for ignoring the event, urging the government to pay more respect to war veterans.
"Such a historical event should be commemorated. There wouldn't be a Taiwan without this war," he said in the ceremony held by the ROC Veterans' Association in Hsinchu County. Thanking the veterans for their contributions, Ma called on the public to learn from history while urging the government to take care of and show respect to the veterans.