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September 26, 2017

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Government needs to ease fear of China: former security adviser

TAIPEI--The government needs to ease people's fear of China, because it is the government's lack of transparency that is largely responsible for the prolonged dispute over the cross-Taiwan Strait trade-in-services agreement, a former national security adviser to President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday.

This fear, which is being manipulated by some politicians to their advantage, is what Taiwan needs to overcome the most in order to move cross-strait relations forward, said Su Chi, former secretary-general of the National Security Council, during a round-table discussion on cross-strait ties.

In handling the dispute, the Ma administration should provide a clear explanation on how the agreement can benefit Taiwan to reduce what Su described as people's "ungrounded fears," instead of focusing on "irrelevant details."

"The government should not only ask people not to fear the trade-in-services agreement but should also tell them not to be afraid of the overall development of cross-strait relations," he said.

The agreement, which was signed in June 2013, has been stalled in the Legislative Yuan mainly due to objections from opposition lawmakers concerned that it will hurt Taiwan's interests.

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