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Cross-strait CBMs not in the works: Presidential Office

TAIPEI--The Presidential Office on Sunday rejected speculations by the media that President Ma Ying-jeou will immediately push for cross-strait confidence building measures (CBMs) if he is reelected next year.

The development of cross-strait links is based on the principle of “first economy, then politics,” thus talks on cross-strait CBMs are not on the cards at this time, the office said.

According to media reports, Ma last week hosted a luncheon for all the contributors to his military and diplomacy white papers in his 2008 campaign, and some participants were of the impression that the president was mulling the possibility of forging CBMs with China if he is reelected in 2012.

The reports also claimed that Ma had solicited ideas from the groups on how to approach China during his second term on the issue of removing its missiles pointed at Taiwan.

In its response Sunday, the Presidential Office made no mention of the missile issue.

It said the luncheon on Feb. 18 was attended by a various guests, including contributors to Ma's 2008 election platform, but there was no discussion of cross-strait CBMs.

Cross-strait exchanges are still focused on the idea of economy before politics and both sides will continue to strive to strengthen their bilateral economic ties, the office said.

This is not an appropriate time to discuss cross-strait CBMs, it stressed.

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