News and Press Releases
Official group needed to manage peaceful cross-strait development
Taipei, March 20 (CNA)
The committee should be set up under the Presidential Office and serve as a channel for dialogue among political parties and elites of society, said Professor Yang Kai-huang of Ming Chuan University, at a Taipei press conference ahead of a seminar sponsored by the Taipei Forum Foundation (TFF) on March 24-25.
Yang's proposal was backed by Professor Tung Chen-yuan of National Chengchi University, who was also at the press conference.
With no elections scheduled for the next two years, Taiwan stands a good chance of forging domestic consensus on its China policy so that it can move forward with mainland relations, Tung said.
Too frequently, elections are seen as the obstacle to internal solidarity in Taiwan, he said. "Such a mechanism should be workable even if the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) returns to power," he added.
The DPP was Taiwan's ruling party between 2000 and 2008.
In the short term, Tung suggested, President Ma should accelerate the follow-up negotiations related to the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement and start talks with major trade partners on free trade agreements.
In the mid-term, the president should seek to work out a new approach to replace his "modus vivendi" formula to allow both Taiwan and China to co-exist in the international community, the scholar added.
Meanwhile, the government should also try to find a solution to the cross-strait political impasse, which would pave the way for Taiwan and China to "neither recognize nor deny each other" and for Taiwan to join international organizations, Tung said.
Establishing a multi-faceted channel for dialogue between the ruling and opposition parties is one of the major proposals presented by the TFF to the president and his administration, according to TFF Chairman Su Chi,
The TFF was established by former Foreign Minister Chen Chien-jen as a non-governmental organization aimed at soliciting opinions from experts and scholars on major national policies.
Su said the forum provides an "open arena" for experts -- regardless of partisan differences -- to discuss the major challenges facing the country and to offer what they think are the best solutions, for reference in government decision-making.
Meanwhile, the TFF's group on national defense suggested that the government maintain its annual military budget at 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to enable the country to better cope with a possible military threat from across the strait.
The government should also step up its lobby in Washington D.C. to remove the current limits on U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, said Professor Wang Kao-cheng of Tamkang University.
(By Lee Shu-hua & Bear Lee)