MA CONCERNED ABOUT IMPACT OF ARMS DEAL ON CROSS-STRAIT SITUATION
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug 16 (CNA) A legislator said Tuesday that Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman-elect Ma Ying-jeou is particularly concerned about the possible impact of the arms procurement package on the cross-Taiwan Strait situation.
Lin Yu-Fang, a legislator from the opposition People First Party (PFP) , who made the remarks in response to a media question, also said that he paid Ma courtesy call Monday during which he also briefed the new KMT head on the ramifications of the arms procurement from the United States.
The arms procurement package put forward by the Ministry of National Defense has been stalled for months by the Legislative Yuan due to opposition by lawmakers of the KMT and the PFP.
According to the ministry, the items on the procurement list include eight diesel-powered submarines, six Patriot PAC III anti-missile batteries and 12 P-3C anti-submarine aircraft.
During the briefing, Lin said he suggests that Ma pay proper heed to the five important elements of the arms deal -- the island's defensive requirements, price, quantity, reciprocity in industry between the two countries and impact on the cross-strait situation.
Among the five elements, Ma has special concerns about the possible influence of the arms deal on the situation in the Strait, the legislator added.
He further said that Ma and other political leaders of the "pan-blue alliance" should set up a working group to come up with a strategy to deal with the arms procurement issue, although he did not propose during the meeting that Ma do so.
Ma, who is also Taipei mayor, will take over his post as the KMT chairman Aug. 19.
(By P.C. Tang)
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