Go TO Content

President Ma's Opening Remarks at Foreign Press Conference

President Ma's Opening Remarks at Foreign Press Conference


Opening Remarks of President Ma Ying-jeou

Foreign Press Conference

May 20, 2009


Ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

Looking across the sea of faces, it heartens me to see many new faces as well as old friends. Although we have come a long way since the last time we met on May 20th one year ago, Taiwan's new journey has just begun. But, it makes me proud to stand here before you and say with a great certainty that this journey has started on the right path. From the first day of my inauguration I had one grand vision for Taiwan and its people, which is to establish Taiwan at the forefront of global trends. This means taking a responsible stake in upholding international peace and security, revitalizing our economy and re-infusing it with some of the most innovative technologies, and re-strengthening the political and social fabric of our society for the benefit of our people and those who would look to us for inspiration. These aspirations have been the driving impetus behind my administration since the beginning.

Our "Flexible Diplomacy" has embedded Taiwan's engagement with the rest of the world in the ideals of mutual trust, respect and responsibility. Undoubtedly, our new approach has won the applause of the international community, which has welcomed Taiwan back into the World Health Assembly after 38 years of exclusion. I am proud to say that this milestone is one of many this past year. From the start I have sought to transform the underlying dynamics of Taiwan-mainland China relations. Unilaterally, my administration announced the policy of "mutual non-denial", which is a middle road between mutual recognition and mutual non-recognition, and we declared a diplomatic truce with the Chinese mainland in the international arena. This has paved the way to peaceful negotiations with the mainland as well as initiated the end to our diplomatic warfare in the international arena. In truth, our policies have effectively shelved 60 years of military conflicts and political confrontations so that we can go straight to the issues that directly affect the wellbeing of our people. We have pushed through bold initiatives that have been bottlenecked for decades such as the 3 Links with the mainland in air, sea, trade and postal services, and the liberalization of capital investments between the two sides. At the same time, this rapprochement has reverberated beyond cross-strait relations to also benefit the entire region and all those who have a stake in it. In one year we have transformed the Taiwan Strait from a dangerous flashpoint to a conduit for peace and prosperity.

My administration is also concurrently bolstering our economic and political infrastructure so that Taiwan will be ready when the global economy revives. This includes a robust economic stimulus package that will channel resources and money into the i-Taiwan 12 Infrastructure projects, which will spearhead the modernization of our logistical, transportation, information and technology infrastructures. Undoubtedly, by doing so Taiwan will be able to fully capitalize on our advantageous geographic location and become a central hub for trade, investment and innovation in the region. In particular, we will focus on 6 flagship industries: first of all, green energy, secondly, biotechnology, third, tourism, fourth, the medical and healthcare industry, fifth, refined agriculture, and sixth, the cultural creative industries. On a political dimension, my administration has also worked unceasingly to fortify Taiwan's democratic institutions, especially in the protection of human rights, rule of law and the independence of the judiciary system. We have already adopted and will fully execute the two United Nations Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as well as Civil and Political Rights. I actually ratified the two Covenants a week ago. Furthermore, my administration will also work to improve social welfare and education in Taiwan. I firmly believe it is the responsibility of the government to relieve suffering, capture and cultivate potential, and build the foundation on which opportunities can thrive.

Although in this past year we have achieved unprecedented milestones, the government is not free from criticisms. Our mainland policies have been met with confusion and criticism from the opposition and in certain pockets in our society. As a democratic nation, these voices should not and will not be ignored. Therefore, my administration will work harder to communicate with the people and reach out to the opposition. Furthermore, although the global economy is at the root of Taiwan's economic woes, this only means we must redouble our efforts to overcome these challenges. So now standing here one year later, ladies and gentlemen, I can say that while we still have some way to go, it has nevertheless been a fruitful year where many of our challenges have been transformed into opportunities and rewards. Taiwan has definitely set into motion the wheels towards a new future. Thank you.

【Source: Office of the President】