President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday stressed that a cross-strait political negotiation is not a top priority for the government, as it would focus on more urgent issues such as the cross-strait service trade agreement.
In a meeting with the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents’ Club at the Presidential Office, Ma said Taiwan would not avoid cross-strait political issues, but the time is not right for political talks with China.
He reiterated his “economics first, politics later” policy for dealing with China and said for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to engage in political talks and discuss the signing of a peace accord, his administration would have to seek a clear public consensus on the issue.
“We must be very cautious in addressing the issue of a cross-strait peace agreement. Many people in Taiwan still think that a peace agreement is aimed at unification and the government does not want to cause such a misunderstanding,” he said.
The signing of a cross-strait agreement on goods and the proposed establishment of cross-strait representative offices are more urgent issues, Ma said.
The two sides also agreed to prioritize efforts to facilitate the implementation of the cross-strait service trade agreement.
The agreement, signed in June during the ninth round of cross-strait talks, has yet to be approved by the Legislative Yuan.
Ma called for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to support the agreement in the legislature, and said the agreement “must” and “will” be approved.
“The opposition camp can oppose the agreement, but should not hurt Taiwan to the core,” he said.
If the pact is not approved, the nation’s efforts to sign free-trade agreements with other nations would be compromised, he said.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
THAI CASE UPDATE: Twenty-nine close contacts of the worker have been tested with two types of tests, including 18 dorm mates, with 28 negative results so far Five imported cases of COVID-19, four from the Philippines and one from Hong Kong, were reported yesterday, bringing the total confirmed cases in Taiwan to 467, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The four returning from the Philippines were on the same flight, and the local health department has identified 15 people who had direct contact with them — including 10 passengers in the two rows in front or behind them, who have been put under 14-day home isolation, and five crew members, who will practice 14-day self-health management, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang