Taiwan, China are seeking peace: Taiwan president

November 14th, 2008 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Taipei, Nov 14 (DPA) Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday that the Taiwan Strait is no longer a flashpoint because both Taipei and Beijing are striving for peace.”In the nearly half a year since my inauguration, both sides have expressed goodwill and built more consensus and mutual trust,” he said while receiving a delegation from the US non-profit Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“Therefore, the Taiwan Strait, which used to be the flashpoint in East Asia, is moving towards peace,” he claimed.

“This mutual trust is still weak, but it is already a huge difference from the situation of half a year ago,” Ma said. “I am cautiously optimistic about the direction of the situation.”

“After cross-strait ties improved, I believe many countries breathed a sigh of relief,” he said and added, “My purpose is to turn Taiwan into a peacemaker.”

Since Ma from the China-friendly Chinese Nationalist Party took office May 20, Taiwan and China have launched weekend charter flights; allowed Chinese tour groups to visit Taiwan; and agreed to open direct postal service, sea links and daily charter flights at year’s end.

In a gesture of goodwill, China, while still barring Taiwan’s president from attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, has allowed a former vice-president, Lien Chan, to attend the Nov 20-23 forum in Lima, Peru.

In the past, Taiwan presidents and foreign ministers have been prevented from attending the meeting due to pressure from China.

China still considers Taiwan, seat of the exiled Republic of China government since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, part of its territory, but Taiwan insists it is a sovereign nation currently recognised by 23 countries.

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