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President Ma floats possibility of cross-strait peace deal

President Ma floats possibility of cross-strait peace deal

President Ma Ying-jeou floated the possibility of a cross-strait peace accord within 10 years Oct. 17, while vowing to continue to improve Taiwan's international status.

"We are now thinking whether we should cautiously consider the possibility of signing a peace agreement with mainland China in the next decade based on the progressive approach we've adopted in dealing with cross-strait relations," Ma said.

Ma, who is seeking re-election in January, contended that a peace agreement with mainland China would help create long-term stability across the Taiwan Strait, which is essential for Taiwan's sustainable development.

The president stressed, however, that such a move would only be taken when it has strong public support, meets the actual needs of the country and can be supervised by the Legislature.

"There is no timetable for considering a cross-strait peace pact, but it is an option that is not ruled out. We would only take such action when there is sufficient trust between the two sides and all conditions are right," Ma said.

Ma's remarks came in the last of a series of news conferences outlining his 10-year plan for the country, elaborating his visions on cross-strait peace and a friendly international environment.

Ma said over the past three years his administration has safeguarded the sovereignty of the ROC and enhanced public welfare by maintaining cross-strait peace under the Constitution and the policy of no unification, no independence and no use of force.

Another key reason for the currently thriving cross-strait relations is the step-by-step principle his government has adopted, putting economics before politics and dealing with issues that are urgent or easily resolved prior to those that are less urgent and more difficult, he added.

For cross-strait relations to continue moving forward, it is important that Taiwan and mainland China interact without denying each other's authority to govern, despite the fact that they do not recognize one another as sovereign countries, according to Ma.

The president said his government will gradually permit more Chinese investment in the future, as it does not make sense to exclude mainland China when Taiwan is trying to welcome more foreign investment.

Meanwhile, Ma proposed that Taiwan and mainland China should increase cooperation on global issues such as climate change, environmental protection, humanitarian aid, green energy and public health.

As to foreign policy, Ma vowed to continue "viable diplomacy" in promoting relations with other countries, saying this pragmatic and flexible strategy has been well received by the international community and has proven to be in the interests of the people of Taiwan.

A clear example is the 70 additional countries and territories that have offered visa waivers and landing visas to Taiwanese citizens since he took office in 2008, bringing the total number to 124, Ma added.

The president also pledged that Taiwan would continue in its role as a peacemaker, supplier of humanitarian aid, promoter of cultural exchange, architect of new technology and business opportunities, as well as champion of Chinese culture with unique Taiwanese characteristics.

ENDS

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