Signing a peace agreement with China is not a top priority of the government’s cross-strait policy, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said yesterday, promising to focus current efforts on economic cooperation and non-political exchanges.
While presenting a report on the development of cross-strait ties following the Chinese Communist Party’s 18th Party Congress at a meeting of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Standing Committee, Wang said China should decide on the context of a peace pact before the two sides discuss the issue.
“Most international peace agreements are ceasefire agreements or non-violation treaties. However, such concepts should not be applied to cross-strait ties because military confrontations between the two sides are in the past … The majority of Taiwanese will not accept any negotiation on unification,” he said.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as the KMT”s chairman, said the government will prioritize efforts to deepen economic and other non-political cross-strait exchanges, establish representative offices on each side, and complete the review of the Act Governing the Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) by 2014.
The government will also seek to complete follow-up negotiations on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement next year and deepen cross-strait economic and trade cooperation, he said.
“Political negotiation is not the most urgent issue at this stage in cross-strait relations and pushing the envelope is not helpful for strengthening bilateral ties … It is our goal to build a solid and long-lasting cross-strait exchange structure, so that future administrations can continue to promote peace across the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
Wang said the ministry will open up the country to more Chinese students, tourists and investments to deepen bilateral cultural and educational ties while reviving local economies via cross-strait tourism.
Ma dismissed concerns about the nation’s overdependence on the Chinese economy and said Chinese investment in Taiwan, which reached US$300 million over the past three years, should continue to increase and help revive the economy.
Wang said draft revisions to the law on the avoidance of double taxation as well as the detention and expulsion of illegal Chinese immigrants, and draft amendments to provisions regarding political dissidents made in reference to the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, have been sent to the legislature for approval.