President Ma calls for political trust across Taiwan Strait
President Ma calls for increased political trust across Taiwan Strait
President Ma Ying-jeou said on October 10 that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should increase mutual political trust after having made a great deal of progress in promoting bilateral relations over the past five years.
"The two sides should utilize their frequent contacts and interaction to boost political trust, and should continue expanding and deepening exchanges in a variety of fields to further improve the welfare of the people," Ma said in a National Day address delivered at a ceremony outside the Presidential Office.
He also called for the establishment of representative offices in each other's territory to better serve the people.
"Through this approach we can take cross-strait cooperation to a new level," Ma added.
He touted his administration's achievements in promoting rapprochement and cooperation with China while upholding the values of freedom and democracy.
"After these five years of effort, the Taiwan Strait today has become one of the most peaceful waterways and most prosperous passageways in Asia," the president added.
Turning to the domestic front, Ma said that Taiwan faces many new challenges and needs to make some crucial choices.
He outlined a national strategy that he said would "allow our country to remold itself, find its proper place and take a viable path forward."
Noting that Taiwan's economy is facing the twin challenges of globalization and regional integration, Ma said the country must transform itself into a global supplier of key components and precision equipment, and become a pioneer of innovative models for the service industry to pave the way to becoming a "free economic island."
"My fellow countrymen, our hope is that Taiwan will become a `free economic island' characterized by what I like to call `the 3H's' -- high productivity on the part of its people, high added- value in terms of its products, and most importantly, high incomes and well-being for its citizens," Ma said.
To realize such a goal, he continued, Taiwan must " be broadminded and courageous enough to open up to the world."
Ma noted that the Shanghai Free Trade Zone officially opened recently, giving Taiwan yet another competitor.
Therefore, he said, the Executive Yuan is currently deliberating whether to allow more industrial activities to be carried out in Taiwan's free economic pilot zones (FEPZs).
The president also reaffirmed his commitment to building Taiwan into a mature civil society with high-quality democracy.
"I have full confidence in our society. We seek a civil society that values diversity and tolerance, a culture where governance is rational, citizens are friendly and caring, and government is actively responsive," Ma said.