'As president', Ma vows not to sell out Taiwan

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 October, 2008, 12:00am

Taiwanese leader Ma Ying-jeou has said he will meet the mainland's cross-strait negotiator Chen Yunlin in his capacity as president. 'My status should be president when meeting Mr Chen,' Mr Ma said yesterday while visiting an agricultural-products market in Taipei. 'There is no doubt about it.'

In an interview with Taiwan's official China News Agency on Friday, Mr Ma said cross-strait relations were 'ties between two regions', not a 'state-to-state relationship'.

'It was because we have never recognised the mainland as a state,' CNA quoted Mr Ma as saying. 'And both sides so far have failed to solve problems of the sovereignty ... Taiwan and the mainland have not recognised each other's regimes - but we surely neither deny the opposite side's legitimacy.'

Mr Ma said the cross-strait meeting next month would bring only benefit to Taiwan, especially farmers. 'I will definitely not sell out Taiwan, but I want to sell Taiwan's farm products to the mainland,' he said.

Taiwanese negotiator Chiang Pin-kung said Mr Chen might cancel visits to Taichung and Tainan, the base of the Democratic Progressive Party, to prevent an attack similar to the one on deputy Zhang Mingqing .