Cross-strait peace pact not priority: President
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Nov. 8 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said in an interview issued by Hong Kong-based Yazhou Zhoukan Thursday that a cross-Taiwan Strait peace pact would not be a priority in his second term.
"Now that the two sides have enjoyed a peaceful co- existence for some time, such an agreement will not be a priority on my agenda," Ma told the Chinese-language weekly in the Nov. 2 interview.
"Taiwan and the mainland have signed 18 agreements on a wide range of fronts and every one of them was clinched on the basis of peace," he explained.
Ma said he will prioritize enhancing and deepening cross-strait interaction, reciprocating offices and revising the Act Governing the Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area during his second term, which ends in May 2016.
"If these three tasks could be completed by that time, I believe cross-strait relations would advance further in the future," he said.
Turning to the once-in-a-decade leadership change that has begun in Beijing, the president said: "I don't see Beijing's leadership transition bringing about basic policy changes toward Taiwan."
"The peaceful development of cross-strait ties is beneficial to both sides and to the rest of the world, including East Asia and the United States," he explained.
Asked whether he would consider visiting mainland China during the remaining years of his term in office, Ma said the prerequisite for that to happen lies in both sides not denying each other's ruling power although they don't recognize each other's sovereignty.
He added that chances are slim for him to visit the mainland as chairman of the ruling Kuomintang, because Taiwan's people would not accept that. "Wherever I go, I'm the president of the Republic of China."
On whether the mainland's presumptive leader Xi Jinping or other ranking officials could be invited to visit Taiwan, Ma said "such a possibility could not be ruled out over the long term" but the "time is not ripe now."
(By Kelven Huang and Flor Wang)
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