Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday pledged to adopt "flexible diplomacy" to end the nation's diplomatic isolation, while improving cross-strait relations based on the "1992 consensus" and "mutual non-denial" if elected.
Unveiling his foreign policy paper, Ma vowed to begin pragmatic negotiations with Beijing through a "modus vivendi" and not oppose allies developing foreign relations with other states unless Taiwan's interests were damaged.
"We will put an end to the pointless `scorched earth diplomacy' exercised by the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] ... Future bilateral foreign relations or participation in international organizations need no longer lead to confrontation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait," Ma told a press conference yesterday in Taipei.
Describing the government's foreign policy as "amateurish, capricious, dogmatic and based on brinkmanship," Ma criticized President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for turning Taiwan into an "international troublemaker" by pursuing de jure independence, and vowed to normalize Taiwan's trade relations with China and to focus efforts on entering three functional organizations, including the World Bank, the IMF and the WHO.
As the world's 18th-largest economic entity, Ma said, Taiwan should be able to exercise its economic influence, develop relations with IMF member countries -- including China -- and work toward entering the IMF.
Ma said he would also seek to sign separate free trade agreements with ASEAN members and eventually achieve the goal of linking up fully with the ASEAN 10+3 group.