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Peace and Security

Taiwan President Pledges Peace

Taipei, Taiwan - “Taiwan will be a peace maker,” pledged Ma Ying-jeou, President of the Republic of China. He was speaking at the Universal Peace Federation conference held in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China, January 16-19, 2009.

Seventeen congressmen and members of parliament from six nations (Nepal, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Taiwan) were among the 450 guests attending the leadership seminar at the stately Grand Hotel, a historic landmark in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.

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Ma went on to say, “This is an era where confrontation needs to be replaced by negotiation, and conflict replaced by reconciliation.” The Taiwanese president explained that this was the hallmark of his administration, emphasizing that “we are very determined to make peace.”

Explaining that peace is a process, Ma said, “Certainly we hope in the future that we could gradually defuse the tension across Taiwan Strait by first building a relationship where we normalize our economic ties between the two sides.” He went on to say, “Then we will move from there to other parts of our relationship, for instance, in the international arena.”

This ‘soft approach’ to building peace with mainland China was what brought this Harvard graduate to power. Nothing in Ma’s speech could be considered controversial. There was no mention of human rights violations, suppression of religious freedoms, or the lack of democracy in China.

Even the vital concern of national security was addressed gingerly and mostly for the sake of the 66 international guests from 15 countries. They were reminded that over 1,000 missiles were pointed at the island-nation from across the strait.

At the end of his Presidential Address, Ma was given an Ambassador for Peace certificate and asked to strike a gong — which he did with great gusto.

Hon. Wang Jin-Pyng, President of the Legislative Assembly, also gave special remarks in the opening plenary just before his departure to USA for President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony. He gave credit for the work of UPF in Taiwan as well as the world from the perspective of bringing harmony and peace for the society and world.

Other government officials speaking at the conference were Hon. Yung-Chuan Tseng, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly; Mr. Junq-Tzer Lin, the Mayor of HsinChu City, voted “best mayor” in Taiwan; Dr. Ching-Ji Wu, Deputy Mayor of Taipei City; Mr. David C.K. Wu, Vice Chairman, NGO Affairs Committee, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Dr. Yeong-Kuang Ger, Member of The Control Yuan, a branch of the government.

See also the report by Lily Lin.

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