Sun, Jan 18, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Ma calls on PRC to remove missiles

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday reiterated his call on Beijing to remove its missiles targeting Taiwan and improve cross-strait relations through negotiation.

“Peace never comes easily, because more than 1,000 missiles deployed by Beijing are still aimed at Taiwan,” he said while attending this year’s Asia-Pacific International Leadership Conference at the Grand Hotel.

Ma pledged to make Taiwan a “peacemaker” rather than a “troublemaker” in the region and push for more cross-strait talks, while reducing conflict across the Taiwan Strait.

“Tensions between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will be eased through the normalization of bilateral trade and economic activities,” Ma said.

Ma said his administration had dedicated a great deal of effort in pushing for dialogue across the strait and reducing cross-strait conflict since taking office.

The development of cross-strait relations, tourism, trade and the implementation of the three links, Ma said, showed that the two sides were able to establish a peaceful relationship through dialogue.

The normalization of cross-strait relations will also help Taiwan address other issues, including the country’s international space with China, the president said.

Taiwan should respond to the opportunities and challenges posed by China, and his administration would continue to create a freer economic environment that would let Taiwan enhance its competitive advantages.

China’s military buildup, however, continues to hinder the cultivation of harmonious cross-strait relations and peace in the Asia-Pacific region, Ma said, calling on China to remove the missiles deployed on the opposite side of the strait.

Reverend William Luo (羅榮光), a pro-independence advocate who attended the conference, shouted: “No Justice” at Ma during his speech. Ma ignored the remarks and continued his speech.

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