Sun, Nov 18, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Wang tells parties to focus on easing relations with China

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Improving cross-strait relations instead of pursuing UN membership is the key to Taiwan's future, both politically and economically, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said during a speech at National Taiwan University on Friday.

Wang said the nation's growing isolation could be attributed to cross-strait tensions and urged normalization of relations with China.

As a result of Chinese pressure, Taiwan has been excluded from many international activities, such as signing a free trade agreement with the US, he said.

Wang said it was vital that the two sides sign an accord to ensure peace in the region.

A series of moves by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government in recent years, including pursuing UN membership using the name "Taiwan," removing China from the names of several state-run enterprises and scrapping the National Unification Council early last year have also contributed to Taiwan's dwindling presence in the international community, he said.

Wang said he fully agreed with People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), who recently criticized both the DPP and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for their rehashing of the issue of Taiwan's participation in the UN.

Both the DPP's campaign to join the UN under the name Taiwan or the KMT's efforts to join the world body using the nation's official title of the Republic of China are "unworkable" because of Taiwan's relations with China, Wang said, arguing that cross-strait ties were the root cause to Taiwan's being squeezed off the world stage, both politically and economically.

Touching on the differing views of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) on easing restrictions to facilitate Taiwanese investment in China, Wang said he had no comment on the reported Chen-Hsieh rift, but made it clear he was in favor of opening measures.

Rumors persist that Chen and Hsieh have been at loggerheads, particularly after Chen publicly turned down a proposal by Hsieh last week that the cap on Taiwan-ese investment in China be eased.

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