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September 24, 2017

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Ma wants unconditional missile removal

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Beijing should begin to remove its missiles pointed at Taiwan without preconditions because such a move will mark an important step towards improving relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, said the Presidential Office.

Lo Chih-chiang, spokesman for President Ma Ying-jeou, made the statement yesterday in response to a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman's offer that Beijing will consider removing the missiles on a condition that Taiwan accepts the "one-China principle."

Lo said that the peaceful interaction and good-will between the two sides is not only the common wish of people, but is also welcomed by the whole world.

He said the two sides have gained much wisdom and experience concerning improved relationships in the past two years, including the signing of the landmark economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) last month,

"Despite the fast improving ties over the past two years, China still targets Taiwan with more than 1,000 missiles. This picture is incongruous, and those missiles have hurt the feelings of Taiwan's people," Lo said.

President Ma always expects the two sides to face the issue to build mutual trust and create a win-win future, he said.

Lo also stressed that Beijing should remove missiles based on the principle of the "1992 Consensus."

The definition of the so-called "1992 Consensus" is "one China with different interpretations," which is Taipei's official stance. Leaders in Taiwan hold the view that both sides agree to disagree on the definition of "one China" with respective interpretations as a way to avoid the political quagmire.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) dismissed a media report that said the military has begun planning a confidence-building mechanism with China and would issue a "wish list" asking China to dismantle weapons targeting Taiwan.

The ministry was referring to an article, carried in yesterday's edition of the Taipei-based China Times newspaper, that said Taiwan's national security and military authorities had, in late June, secretly started preparatory work for forging a confidence-building mechanism with China.

Citing "authoritative government sources," the paper said the military would not only ask China to dismantle its missiles targeting Taiwan but also ask China to remove command, control, communications and intelligence systems, warships and military aircraft targeting Taiwan.

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