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September 23, 2017

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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。

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