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Pact an opportunity that should not be squandered: Singapore PM

In a meeting with the editors-in-chief and publishers of 17 English-language newspapers that comprise the Asia News Network, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) remarked yesterday that recent progress in cross-strait economic agreement negotiations represents a good opportunity for Taiwan that should not be squandered.

Responding to queries by The China Post Executive Editor Tom Hsieh (謝步智) relating to ongoing tensions in Taipei over the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, Lee deemed the students' occupation of the Legislative Yuan and the storming of the Executive Yuan as abnormal for the rule of law under democracy.

Lee stated that the students should voice their concerns and opinions over Taiwan's future through existing legal processes, and that he hopes for a peaceful resolution to the current social discord.

“The cross-strait agreement is a good deal. It's a pity (if Taiwan) does not sign it,” Lee told The China Post.

On whether the outbreak of student protests would harm cross-strait relations, Lee told The China Post that mainland China had not anticipated the outcome of current developments and has been monitoring the event closely.

According to Lee, under President Ma Ying-jeou's administration Taiwan has made great strides in normalizing cross-strait relations, with the current trade pact representing the final steps before the reaching of a momentous milestone.

From Singapore's perspective, normalized relations and closer ties between Beijing and Taipei are expected to benefit Asia's economies as a whole, said Lee.

Meanwhile, Lee urged Asian nations to exercise restraint when dealing with territorial disputes in the South China Sea as well as around the Diaoyutai Islands in order to avoid disastrous consequences.

李顯龍: 兩岸協議是好協議 不簽可惜

新加坡總理李顯龍今天在接見亞洲新聞網(Asia News Network)的17國英文報業總編輯時表示兩岸目前的經濟協議對台灣來說是好協議,不簽可惜,這是近兩年來,李顯龍首次針對兩岸協議發表談話。

李顯龍是在回答英文中國郵報總編輯謝步智的提問時,做了上述表示。

李顯龍同時也對目前台灣正在進行的太陽花學運發表看法,他認為學生攻佔立法院,甚至衝擊行政院,在民主國家來說,都是不正常的行為,學生若是關心國事,必須透過既有的法律途徑來表達意見他希望一切能早日和平落幕並恢復秩序。

至於這次的學運是否會傷害兩岸關係,李顯龍說中國目前正密切觀注學運的發展,因為對他們來說,這是事前沒有預料到的變數。

兩岸關係在過去幾年來在馬英九總統的努力下,已經有了長足進步,尤其經濟協議的簽訂,更是新的里程碑,新加坡希望兩岸的合作能更加緊密,因為兩岸的和平,對整個亞洲的發展很有幫助。

至於持續發生的東海釣魚台爭議與南海領土爭議,李顯龍呼籲亞洲各國要自制,儘量避免災難性的結果發生。

April 9, 2014    gastly@
Singapore a "democracy"??? Why not ask the prime ministers of Japan or Korea? Ah… right.
April 9, 2014    tsaiyc@
Singapore's government has yet to meet the criteria of meaningfully competitive, free and fair elections. Moreover, Singaporeans have yet to take power away from the hands of the People's Action Party which came to power in 1959, led by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. President's Ma political wet dream, in other words.
April 9, 2014    hruang@
Singapore, where the SAME PARTY has won every election for more than HALF A CENTURY. Excellent choice CP...
April 9, 2014    Mordrake@
Good comment by Lee, but he should be careful he does not engender the vitriolic hatred of non-democratic deep-green and the non-democratic students who have blatantly LIED to the people in saying they have majority support for their kidnapping of Taiwan's LY.

The danger is that they will point to Lee and call him a dictator - which he is, albeit a benevolent one - whilst not seeing the irony of their own non-democratic, dictatorial actions. The majority of Taiwan people want work, livelihood, a good economy, and security. The students are lobbying for the opposite, without realizing the folly of their actions. Enough LIES.
April 9, 2014    carltanong@
GO GO GO President Ma. Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) say "The Pact an opportunity that should not be squandered":

President Ma. The concern citizen and the silent majority voted for u expectation is to work for them. Do NOT be cow by those DPP green croc's, Lin and Chen long black propaganda speeches inside and outside of the Legislative Yuan that they violently Kidnap and hold hostages the entire populace and make demand, engaging with other dIrty tactics to tamper our country to move forward. They engage in improper or secret dealings, as in an effort to influence the concern citizen and the silent majarity with their unreasonal reasoning to topple our Democratic government.

GO GO GO Ma. Do your homework. Beware of that Wang.
April 9, 2014    edann77@
Singapore, the city-state of about 5 million people of which about 2 million are foreign born has consistently done it right and in its own unique way. In terms of purchasing power parity, Singapore has the third-highest per capita income in the world. It places highly in international rankings with regard to education, healthcare, government transparency, and economic competitiveness.

Singapore is a multicultural system and place that's highly regarded internationally. Not afraid of changing and evolving its identity. The things we can learn from others if we can just... ...
April 9, 2014    rogechien@
大陸只是中華民國淪陷地區 台灣是中國的一個省 總有一天 大陸會迴歸的 . Mainland China is still a part of the R.O.C., Taiwan is one of its provinces, and one day, sooner or later, we will recover Mainland China.
April 9, 2014    hellotom@
Unfortunately, most of Taiwan's democratic elements taken for granted in other countries have suffered under the Ma Ying-jeou administration. The current government has oftentimes smothered internal KMT dissent, intervened in the judiciary, and for the most part ignored input from civil society — including input on the Cross-Strait Services Trade Agreement at the heart of the current crisis. For all intents and purposes, the Taiwanese government has drifted towards a competitive authoritarian regime, little more than an empty shell. Singapore's government, at least, is not an empty shell.
April 10, 2014    jason^trueblue@
Latest TVBS poll, a solidly ‘pan-blue’ media outlet that is consistently pro-KMT and pro-China:

On Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) proposal that a Cross-strait Agreement Monitoring Bill be passed before the Service Trade Agreement is reviewed by the Legislative Yuan (as opposed to President Ma’s insistence that the two be carried out concurrently and that the Monitoring Bill not apply to the Service Trade Agreement):

65% - support Wang Jin-pyng’s statement
16% - do not support Wang Jin-pyng’s statement
19% - no opinion

Go and play in the traffic, Mr. "President". Long live the TRUE KMT!!!!!!!
April 10, 2014    heiheitz@
~GO GO GO Ma. Do your homework. Beware of that Wang.~??

Ma is GOING alright: DOWN!
Didn't do his homework: so Wang is all over him!
Too late to "be aware" for MA!
April 11, 2014    eddy@
Mordrake@ wrote:
Good comment by Lee, but he should be careful he does not engender the vitriolic hatred of non-democratic deep-green and the non-democratic students who have blatantly LIED to the people in saying they have majority support for their kidnapping of Taiwan's LY.

The danger is that they will point to Lee and call him a dictator - which he is, albeit a benevolent one - whilst not seeing the irony of their own non-democratic, dictatorial actions. The majority of Taiwan people want work, livelihood, a good economy, and security. The students are lobbying for the opposite, without realizing the folly of their actions. Enough LIES.
Amen to that!
April 11, 2014    concerned-american@
Can somebody please help Taiwan and China unify as one nation? The current idiotic banana students and sunflower DPP party are both causing civil unrest in Taiwan.
April 14, 2014    whocares@
Who cares what Singapore's Lee has to say?

President Ma: negotiate or face revolutionaries!
April 15, 2014    betty@
concerned-american@

Spoken like a true Chinese coward.
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