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Developments on Kinmen and Matsu need to pick up pace: Ma

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Developments in Kinmen and Matsu were sacrificed during the period of cross-strait confrontation, but since tension across the Taiwan Strait has eased, developments on the islands should be accelerated, President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday.

Ma visited Kinmen in the company of Transport Minister Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時), Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達), Kinmen Magistrate Li Wo-shi (李沃士), Kinmen County Council Speaker Wang Zai-sheng (王再生), Kinmen-based lawmaker Yang Ying-hsiung (楊應雄) and others.

The officials inspected Liaoluo Port (料羅港) and attended the unveiling ceremonies of a new building at the Kinmen Hospital, a new terminal at the county's airport and an agricultural center.

Hopefully, Liaoluo Port's expansion can be completed sooner in order to accommodate trade needs, the president said.

While visiting Kinmen Hospital, Ma said that the planned international health parks in the yet-to-be-established Free Economic Pilot Zones (FEPZs) will not affect citizens' right to medical care.

While the administration has been pushing hard for the FEPZs, some have expressed the concern that the international health parks will commodify Taiwan's health care industry and affect the public's right to health care.

If Taiwan refrains from developing its international health care industry, talents will ultimately leave the island for higher paying jobs elsewhere in the Chinese-speaking world such as Singapore, Ma said.

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