Sun, Oct 19, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Ma hopes for peace deal while he’s in office

By Wang Yu-chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

In an interview published in the Indian quarterly India and Global Affairs yesterday, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said he hoped that a cross-strait peace accord could be reached during his term in office.

Ma said there was no timetable in setting up a mechanism for mutual military trust or signing a peace agreement between China and Taiwan. He said that weekend chartered flight services and allowing more Chinese tourists were his administration’s priorities and were accomplished in July. The next step was the push for direct air and sea links, normalization of cross-strait economic relations, and then international participation and a peace agreement, he said.

Negotiating solutions to these issues could not be achieved in the short term, but Ma said he was willing to do his best and hoped to accomplish them during his term.

Ma made the remarks in response to a question asked by the magazine as to whether he would see the more than 1,000 Chinese missiles aimed at Taiwan removed during his presidency.

The interview was conducted in written form in August.

The Presidential Office said yesterday that Ma was stressing that he wanted to achieve these goals during his term in office, but that it was not a formal promise or statement.

In the interview, when asked if the failure to pass the referendums on the UN and constitutional amendments meant that Taiwan would give up these efforts, Ma said it only meant that the Taiwanese people still had different opinions on the name and method to be used for a UN membership bid.

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