Sat, Jan 01, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Ma expects defensive upgrades

BETTER THAN KOREAThe president said the relationship across the Strait showed signs of peace, but strong defensive forces would help in negotiations with China

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said he expected national security agencies to continue strengthening national defense installations, even as the government pushes for the improvement of cross-strait relations.

Solid national security and national defense, Ma said, will give the government more confidence when negotiating with China.

“The two sides [of the Taiwan Strait] have signed many agreements over the past two years. Compared to the tensions on the Korean Peninsula, there’s been signs of peace across the Taiwan Strait,” Ma said while attending the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau’s graduation ceremony.

Ma defended his administration’s efforts to improve cross-strait relations and lower tensions across the Strait. He said the government will continue promoting cross-strait relations under the principle of the “1992 consensus,” while insisting on the “three noes” policy: no unification, no -independence and no use of force.

The so-called “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit agreement that there is only “one China” — the meaning of which is open to interpretation. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) interprets “one China” as the Republic of China on Taiwan, while the Beijing government defines it as the People’s Republic of China.

According to the KMT, the accord was reached by cross-strait representatives at a meeting in 1992.

The Democratic Progressive Party does not acknowledge the existence of the “1992 consensus.”

Former KMT legislator and National Security Council secretary-general Su Chi (蘇起) admitted in February 2006 that he made up the term in 2000 — when he was head of the Mainland Affairs Council — to break the cross-strait deadlock and alleviate tension.

Ma yesterday said the government would seek closer cooperation with China on combating crime, as the two sides have signed an agreement on cross-strait crime-fighting and mutual judicial assistance.

Ma’s administration has been pushing for cross-strait exchanges since he assumed office in 2008. The Straits Exchange Foundation and the Chinese Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait resumed cross-strait negotiations in 2008, and the two sides have signed 15 agreements on economic and medical cooperation, including the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in June.

Under the ECFA, a total of 539 Taiwanese products and services placed on the “early harvest” list will enjoy tariff cuts or market access treatment in China, while more than 267 Chinese products and services will enjoy the same treatment in Taiwan. The early harvest list takes effect today.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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