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Ma stresses importance of more flexible diplomacy

TAIPEI -- President Ma Ying-jeou stressed the importance of flexible diplomacy Wednesday during a briefing to the Central Standing Committee of the ruling Kuomintang on his recent trip to Panama and El Salvador.

“Flexible diplomacy's most important goals are to solidify (Taiwan's) relations with its allies, boost substantive links with non-allies, and expand participation in the international community,” said Ma, who doubles as chairman of the ruling party.

He touted his trip to Panama for the inauguration of its new president as a good opportunity to achieve these goals.

Taiwan maintains diplomatic relations with just 22 countries because of Beijing's suppression. China regards Taiwan as part of its territory, and the two sides treated each other as hostile rivals until 2008, when Ma assumed office and began approaches to improve cross Taiwan Strait exchanges.

Ma's June 29-July 5 Central American tour was his 10th overseas visit since he assumed the presidency.

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