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President reiterates East China Sea peace initiative

ROC Central News Agency

2012/08/16 16:38:46

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou lauded Thursday Washington's commitment to maintaining Taiwan's defense capabilities and promoting peace, saying that peace is the reason behind his East China Sea peace initiative proposal.

"We hope the peace in East Asia can be maintained," Ma said during a meeting with a delegation from the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the U.S. that was led by Adm. Gary Roughead, former chief of naval operations for the U.S. Navy and the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Ma also recognized Washington's strategic rebalance toward Asia, its commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) -- which obliges the U.S. to assist Taiwan in defending itself after the two severed official ties in 1979 -- and the Six Assurances.

"We are gratified that the U.S. has been faithfully adhering to the terms of the Six Assurances," Ma said a day before the 30th anniversary of the 1982 signing of a China-U.S. joint communique.

The Six Assurances, signed in 1982 between Taiwan and the U.S., was a response to the communique, in which the U.S. pledged to gradually decrease its arms sales to Taiwan.

It offered Taiwan the assurances that the U.S. will not set a date for termination of arms sales to Taiwan; will not alter the terms of the TRA; will not consult with China in advance before making decisions about U.S. arms sales to Taiwan; will not mediate between Taiwan and China; will not alter its position on the sovereignty of Taiwan and will not pressure Taiwan to enter negotiations with China; and will not formally recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

In addition, Ma again urged the U.S. to resume the long-stalled talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement now that Taiwan has decided to allow imports of American beef containing ractopamine, a leanness-enhancing drug added to livestock feed that has long been banned in Taiwan.

The president also reiterated his hope that Taiwan can join the Trans-Pacific Partnership within the next eight years.

Ma's peace initiative for the East China Sea, put forward earlier in the month, urges all parties to refrain from taking antagonistic action, shelve their differences, observe international law and resolve disputes through peaceful means.

All sides should also seek consensus on a code of conduct for the East China Sea and establish a mechanism for cooperation on exploring resources in the region.

(By Lee Shu-hua and Jamie Wang)

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