Bush urges Taiwan’s new leader to work with China

March 23rd, 2008 - 8:04 am ICT by admin  

Washington, March 23 (DPA) US President George W. Bush Saturday congratulated Ma Ying-jeou on his election as Taiwan’s next president, and urged him to work closely with China in keeping peace in the Taiwan Strait. “It falls to Taiwan and Beijing to build the essential foundations for peace and stability by pursuing dialogue through all available means and refraining from unilateral steps that would alter the cross-Strait situation,” Bush said in a statement.

Ma and Taiwan’s opposition party, KMT, were returned to power in elections earlier Saturday. Ma, 57, defeated the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Frank Hsieh by 2.2 million votes. Ma immediately pledged to improve ties with China, revive the island’s economy and promote ethnic harmony.

Bush said the election provided a “fresh opportunity” for peaceful resolution of their differences.

China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, while a dwindling number of world nations recognize Taiwan as a nation.

“The maintenance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the welfare of the people on Taiwan remain of profound importance to the United States,” Bush said.

“We will continue to maintain close unofficial ties with the people on Taiwan through the American Institute in Taiwan in accordance with our long standing one China policy, our three Joint Communiqu

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