Tue, Sep 23, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan can’t afford to ignore China: Lai Shin-yuan

By Ko Shu-Ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan cannot bypass China in its attempts to connect with the world, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) said yesterday.

“While mainland China must blend into the international community, Taiwan cannot continue to guard against the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] and block cross-strait exchanges,” she said.

“The survival and development of Taiwan will depend on whether we can incorporate with the world. The sooner we do so, the faster and deeper the assimilation will be,” she said.

Lai made the remarks at a gathering held by the Taiwanese Association of America in Chicago, Illinois.

When Taiwan tries to connect with the rest of the world, it must not avoid China deliberately, but must reduce unnecessary obstruction to cross-strait interactions, she said.

“Of course, when we extend goodwill to the world and mainland China, we must take stock of whether the CCP’s hostility has also been reduced,” she said.

Lai said the council would maintain Taiwan-centered consciousness and serve public interests based on the principle that Taiwan is always the focus and people’s interests come first.

The council will also continue to push cross-strait exchanges, dialogue and negotiations, she said, adding that it would also seek to improve cross-strait relations in a prudent and stable manner.

She said she hoped cross-strait ties would eventually return to the “right track of sound development” and achieve the ultimate goal of obtaining sustainable peace in the Taiwan Strait.

Comparing the current administration with the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, Lai said the new government took the initiative to extend goodwill to Beijing and seized the opportunity to push negotiations and interactions when Beijing reciprocated.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration also relaxed regulations swiftly and broadened the room for future interactions, she said.

“With our goodwill and the CCP’s positive response, we hope cross-strait relations will enter a new stage of sound interactions,” she said.

The goal of the government’s cross-trait policy is to maintain stability in the Taiwan Strait and advance regional peace, she said, with the ultimate goal of protecting the rights, interests, welfare and dignity of the people of Taiwan.

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