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President Ma: Taiwan Will Safeguard National Security

President Ma Says Taiwan Will Continue to Safeguard National Security

President Ma Ying-jeou said on August23 that cross-strait relations between Taiwan and Mainland China are now at their most peaceful, and his administration will continue to procure weapons from the United States to safeguard national security.

"Although tensions across the Taiwan Strait have gradually eased and cross-strait relations are now the most peaceful in more than six decades, we still cannot afford to be lax in terms of combat readiness," Ma said at a ceremony on the outlying island of Kinmen.

The president arrived in Kinmen earlier in the day for a ceremony to mark the 55th anniversary of an artillery battle between the Republic of China military and communist Chinese forces.

Ma said he had determined that recent media report of a plan by American and Chinese defense officials to set up a joint task force to deal with issues of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan was not true.

"That conclusion was reached after checking the report through different channels," the president added.

Ma said the United States issued Six Assurances in 1982, in which it promised not to set a date for termination of arms sales to Taiwan and not to consult with China before making decisions about U.S. arms deals with Taiwan.

Touting his administration's efforts to improve relations with China over the past five years, Ma said cross-strait relations are now at their most peaceful.

"But it does not mean that our country is free of security threats," he said. "We must not relax our combat readiness and will continue to purchase U.S.-built weapons that we still cannot produce on our own."

ENDS

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