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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

President vows continued efforts to improve U.S. ties

ROC Central News Agency

2012/03/27 20:40:49

Taipei, March 27 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Tuesday his administration will continue working hard to improve relations with the United States while pursuing peace and prosperity in its engagements across the Taiwan Strait.

"We also look forward to being an active participant in regional economic integration instead of being marginalized," Ma said in a meeting with former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

Over the past four years, Ma said, his administration has adjusted the balance in its policies on cross-strait and international relations.

Through these adjustments, Taiwan has created a "virtuous circle" on both fronts, Ma said. "We will continue similar pursuits in the next four years," said Ma, who will start his second four-year term May 20.

He further said balanced Taiwan-U.S. and Taiwan-mainland China ties will benefit all three sides.

Meanwhile, Ma said said Taiwan is eager to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multilateral free trade agreement spearheaded by U.S. President Barack Obama at an annual leadership meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum last November.

"We will further liberalize trade and investment to create favorable conditions for our country to keep pace with the regional economic integration and avoid being marginalized in this new wave of developments," Ma said.

Armitage arrived in Taipei on March 25 for a weeklong visit, leading an 11-member delegation from the Project 2049 Institute, an American think tank that focuses on Asia security and politics.

During the meeting, Ma expressed thanks for the institute's outspoken support for Taiwan amid recent calls by a small group of Americans to ditch Taiwan to save the U.S. economy.

"We appreciate your institute's rejection of such calls and support for our cause," Ma said.

(By Kelven Huang and Sofia Wu)
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