Sat, Jul 02, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Ma’s advisers found association

OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE:The association praised last year’s cross-strait presidential meeting, saying it will ‘aggressively’ strive to help Ma win the Nobel Peace Prize

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

About 50 former presidential advisers who served during former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) two terms in office have established an association aimed at providing counsel to President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration.

The association’s founding was marked on Thursday afternoon in a ceremony at the Ambassador Hotel Taipei, attended by Ma and former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義).

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Liu Shen-liang (劉盛良) was chosen as association chairman, while former Examination Yuan secretary-general Lin Shui-chi (林水吉), former chairman of the then-Greater Taichung Council Lin Jen-te (林仁德) and former Control Yuan member Hung Chun-te (洪俊德) were designated as vice chairmen.

The meeting in Singapore in November last year between Ma and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) not only offered a testimony to peaceful interactions across the Taiwan Strait, but also significantly raised the Republic of China’s (ROC) profile on the international stage, the association said.

It was the first meeting between leaders from both sides of the Taiwan Strait since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, which has been touted by Ma as evidence of his cross-strait rapprochement policy’s success.

“The entire population of Taiwan takes pride in the historical meeting. We should aggressively endeavor to help Ma win the Nobel Peace Prize, which will signify the ROC’s efforts and dedication to pushing for peace across the Taiwan Strait,” the association said.

The association said it would serve as a platform in which its members can continue to offer suggestions to Tsai’s administration to remember how Ma has valued their advice and to cherish the emotional bonds they have established with the former president over the years.

It added that members of the association are to meet once every three months, extending invitations to Ma, Wu and former president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長).

Speaking after the ceremony, Ma expressed gratitude for the former advisers’ continued dedication to the nation, the public and the country they live in.

“I am optimistic about the success of the association,” Ma said, adding that he hopes the group would do what is in the best interests of the nation and its people.

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