. China News .

Taiwan leader says will not discuss China unification
by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) Dec 3, 2011

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou on Saturday stressed that he will not discuss unification with China as he sought to ease concerns on his Beijing-friendly policies in the run-up to his reelection bid.

"I will not discuss unification (with China) when in office, I will not seek independence or resort to the use of force," Ma said in the first televised debate ahead of Taiwan's January 14 presidential election.

"This forms a consensus that the majority of people support so I can have a firm footing when negotiating with China," Ma said in response to a question why he appeared closer to Beijing than to the island's opposition party.

Ma, elected in 2008 on a platform of boosting trade and tourism with China, is running for a second four-year term against Tsai Ing-wen of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party and independent James Soong.

The race is tight: in a recent November poll the first two candidates were tied with 39 percent of support each, while Soong had nine percent, marking a decline of three percentage points for Ma from October.

In the debate lasting over two hours, Tsai criticised the Ma administration for over-relying on the Chinese market, which she said caused Taiwan to lose its capitals and talents to the mainland and hurt its competitiveness.

"Our sovereignty has been hurt so we need a new leader... to face China in a way neither servile nor overbearing, to uphold our sovereignty to conduct pragmatic negotiations," she said.

Independent James Soong also weighed in on the issue of relations with China: "We don't want to see the use of force with the other side and we want to peacefully co-exist for the prosperity of the future generations," he said.

Soong is considered unlikely to win in the January 14 polls, but observers said he could threaten Ma as he stills commands considerable loyalty among some members of Ma's Kuomintang (KMT) party as a former KMT heavyweight.

Ties between Taiwan and China improved markedly since Ma took office, culminating with the signing of a major trade pact last year.

However, critics have warned that the pact would give the mainland a stronger grip on Taiwan and erode the island's de facto independence.

China has largely refrained from commenting openly on the election, fearing it might backfire, but it is widely believed to prefer Ma's ruling KMT party.

China regards Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, although the two sides have been governed separately since the end of a civil war in 1949.

Related Links
Taiwan News at SinoDaily.com

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Top US official makes rare stop in Taiwan
Taipei (AFP) Dec 1, 2011
USAID chief Rajiv Shah on Thursday became the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan since 2006, delighting the island's government but possibly rankling China. "We're pleased to see the visit. As a matter of fact, we've been calling for more exchange of visits by ranking government officials from the two sides," Taiwan's foreign ministry spokesman James Chang told AFP as Shah arrived o ... read more

China jails Australian for 13 years for bribery

State of emergency declared in Peru's mining conflict area

Zimbabwe mining firm in maiden diamond sales: report

Peru leader skips summits amid mine dispute

Plant seeds protect their genetic material against dehydration

Massive roof farm planned for Berlin

World Grain Production Down, But Recovering

Using Radiation to Sterilize Insect Pests

Tough hunt for Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa

Liberia's Nobel Peace Laureate holds peace jamboree

S. Sudan battles to transform guerrilla army

Blair highlights China's role in aid for Africa

Saab rejigs China takeover deal in bid for GM approval

Paris revs up for electric car rentals

GM China sales rise 20% to record in November

Nissan Leaf electric wins Japan car of the year

Australia opens uranium exports to India

India's uranium mines cast a health shadow

S.Korea, US resume talks on nuclear energy

Australia's ruling party overturns India uranium ban

Raytheon Acquires Cybersecurity Firm Pikewerks

New videogames give civil uprising tips

US bill seeks to improve cyber information-sharing

Internet has become 'surveillance machine': Assange

China's dominance in Myanmar

China urges end to Myanmar sanctions

Outside View: Buck up, America!

Hillary Clinton in historic bid to open Myanmar

Enel: More new wind capacity in Iberia

AREVA Wind M5000-135 offshore turbine evolves proven M5000 platform

New Bladed link to offshore code checking tools

Suzlon revs up wind power


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement