Administration hasn't avoided cross-strait political issues: Ma
CNATAIPEI -- President Ma Ying-jeou has said in an interview with an American newspaper that his administration has not deliberately avoided political talks with mainland China and has been willing to discuss any pressing issue.
October 26, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
“It is not that we avoid touching the political issues and pass them on generation to generation,” Ma told the Washington Post in Taipei on Thursday.
In fact, Ma said, his administration is “willing to discuss any issue as long as it is an urgent one.”
Ma was responding to Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent statement that a final resolution on Taiwan's status must be reached and that the island's political estrangement from mainland China “cannot be passed on from generation to generation.”
Ma said he has done a lot to improve relations with China since assuming office five years ago.
While some of the topics addressed by the two sides during that span were economic in nature, the agenda has also included political issues or subjects in other fields, Ma said.
The guiding principle, the president said, has been to deal with the easiest and most pressing issues first, such as economic relations, rather than taking up more difficult political questions.
Xi told Taiwan's former Vice President Vincent Siew on the sidelines of an annual leaders' summit of the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC) forum held in Indonesia early this month that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should not sidestep political issues forever.
Cross-strait Political Talks
Ma stressed, however, that Taiwan is still far away from being ready to engage in detailed political talks with mainland China as a “referendum and clear public consensus in Taiwan are needed before military talks and discussion of a peace accord can begin,” the paper said.
Likewise, the paper said, Ma has ruled out a direct meeting with Xi unless there is both an urgent need by Taiwan and public support for it.
In the interview, Ma also said he wanted to further improve ties with mainland China by having the two sides establish representative offices in each other's capitals and relaxing outdated rules covering the interaction of people and businesses in Taiwan and China, according to the paper.