Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration should not "close" Taiwan to interaction with China in the long term.
Ma made the remarks a day after President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) reiterated that a government policy of "not accrediting university diplomas issued by China and banning Taiwan's universities from recruiting Chinese students" would not be changed during the remainder of his term in office.
Addressing the opening of a southern Taiwan university and graduate institute exposition held at the Business Exhibition Center in Kaohsiung City, Chen said if the doors were opened there could be an adverse impact on the nation's employment market.
In response, Ma said yesterday that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait need more interaction, stressing that if the DPP government is still reluctant to open doors to China, all efforts by different sectors to help promote cross-strait exchanges would be in vain.
The pace and manner of opening the nation to Chinese students or allowing Taiwanese students to pursue studies in China could be discussed, but it was unwise for the government to adopt a long-term closed-door policy, Ma said.
He warned that if the DPP government continued to block interaction with China, Taiwan would not only be unable to reach out, but that it could also fall behind economically.
Ma made the remarks during an interview with reporters after attending an international seminar held by United Way Taiwan (UWT) to mark its 15th anniversary. UWT is a non-profit organization devoted to pooling resources to satisfy community needs.