Mon, Jul 23, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Hsieh pans `cross-strait common market' policy

STATESIDE DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh arrived in New York on Friday, the start of a visit that will see him tour Washington, Detroit and Los Angeles

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA , NEW YORK

Visiting Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) on Saturday panned a "cross-strait common market" concept advocated by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice presidential candidate as "ridiculously unrealistic."

In a speech to a group of Taiwanese expatriates from the greater New York area, Hsieh said he firmly opposed the cross-strait common market mechanism being advocated, adding that if the common market were to be implemented, Chinese women -- known to have been smuggled into Taiwan by human traffickers largely to work in the underground sex trade -- would no longer need to be smuggled into Taiwan as illegal immigrants.

Noting that the gulf between the two sides in various sectors is too wide to bridge, Hsieh said that with problems regarding foreign laborers working in Taiwan already hard to handle, Taiwan's government and people would find themselves facing an even bigger headache should workers from China be introduced into Taiwan under a "common market" system.

Addressing the issue of whether he would choose former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) or former vice premier Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) as his running mate for next year's presidential race, Hsieh said he is remaining open-minded and would not make a subjective decision based on his personal feelings.

Hsieh said he would do all he could, including asking repeatedly after first being turned down, to win the consent of his chosen future running mate in order to enable the DPP to win the election.

Meanwhile, Hsieh called for all Taiwanese expatriates in the US to return to Taiwan to cast their votes for the DPP next March or at least make telephone calls to help broaden the DPP's support base, because Taiwan could not afford to allow "the corrupt" KMT to return to power.

Accompanied by 14 DPP legislators, Hsieh arrived in New York on Friday, starting a 10-day visit which will also take him to Washington, Detroit and Los Angeles.

On Saturday afternoon, Hsieh joined DPP legislators Hsiao Pi-khim (蕭美琴) and Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) to watch a Yankees baseball game.

Hsieh said if he was elected president, he would invite the New York Yankees to Taiwan to play some friendly baseball games with their Taiwanese counterparts.

Hsieh was scheduled to travel to Washington yesterday, where he would address the National Press Club on "mutualism and Taiwan's national security agenda" and give a speech on Capitol Hill on "American values and Taiwan's existence."

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