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Taiwan welcomes China's remarks on missile withdrawal (update-2)

2010/09/24 16:49:07

Taipei, Sept. 24 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou has welcomed ChinaPremier Wen Jiabao's Sept. 22 statement that missiles deployed byBeijing across the Taiwan Strait aimed at Taiwan will eventually beremoved, one of Ma's aides said Friday.

"It is a sign of goodwill from Beijing, evidence of the peacefuland steady development of bilateral ties and something we are glad tosee, " said Joseph Chen, director-general of the Public AffairsOffice of the Presidential Office.

Premier Wu Den-yih expressed a similar opinion at the LegislativeYuan earlier in the day before giving a report on hisadministration's agenda.

"We believe the remark is a gesture of goodwill and we hope thatit (the removal) can be done as soon as possible, " Wu said.

"The withdrawal of the missiles will not neutralize all thethreat facing Taiwan, but it is a most specific sign of goodwill, "the premier said.

Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan said on thesame occasion that the withdrawal of the missiles is something "Chinacould do and should do."

"All Taiwan people will be wishing for the early realization ofthe move," she said.

Wen made his remark on the eventual withdrawal of the missiles inNew York, where he was attending the United Nations General Assembly.

He is the highest-ranking Chinese leader ever to have raised theissue in public.

During a meeting with journalists posted by the Chinese-languagemedia to New York, Wen touted the long way cross-Taiwan Straitrelations has come in the last two years, citing the launch of directflights across the Taiwan Strait and the conclusion of the economiccooperation framework arrangement (ECFA) as evidence.

He said the mutual trust between China and Taiwan can be furtherbuilt upon, on the basis of the economic trust developed by the ECFA.

However, Wen said this should be done in line with thewillingness of the people of both sides, and should meet theirexpectations.

China has deployed more than 1,000 missiles in southern China,aimed directly at Taiwan.

A spokesmen for China's defense department said in Beijing July30 that the issue is negotiable "based on the one China principle."

In response, President Ma Ying-jeou said through his spokesmanAug. 2, that Beijing should remove the missiles without conditionsbecause doing so would mark an important step towards improvingbilateral relations.

(By Maubo Chang)