President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said he did not rule out meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), but insisted that his administration would ensure the nation’s dignity is maintained during such a meeting if one takes place.
In an interview with Next TV, Ma said the governments on either side of the Taiwan Strait will have to “create some conditions” to facilitate a meeting between him and Xi in the future.
“With the support of the Taiwanese people and ensuring that no harm is done to the nation’s dignity, we do not exclude the possibility of holding a meeting with Xi to further develop cross-strait relations,” he said.
In discussing his cross-strait policies, Ma brushed aside concerns about closer cross-strait cooperation in economy and other aspects pushing Taiwan closer to unification with China.
He reiterated his “three noes” policy — no unification, no independence and no use of force — in handling cross-strait relations, which he said were the public’s consensus.
“We continue to adhere to the principles of handling economic issues before political ones, and setting easy agenda before difficult ones. Taiwan’s national interests remain our top priority and we will not stop promoting cross-strait relations because of some people’s misconception that this will lead the nation towards unification,” he said.
Ma defended the establishment of representative offices on either side of the Strait, insisting that the offices would only handle “administrative affairs,” such as issuing travel documents.
When asked to comment on Beijing pushing for cross-strait political negotiations, Ma acknowledged that China’s unification propaganda never stops, but said that his administration will continue to insist on the sovereignty of the Republic of China.
“We’ve been dealing with mainland governments for more than 20 years, no one should underestimate Taiwan’s strength and the conviction of Taiwanese,” he said.
Promoting peace across the Taiwan Strait while pursuing foreign relations with other countries are the policy priorities this term, Ma said, adding that he would continue the effort to push for cross-strait development and reviving the economy.