Taiwan seeks 'dialogue, not confrontation' with China

DUBAI — Taiwan is currently not thinking in terms of reunification with China or independence. Both Taiwan's government and its people want to maintain the status quo, Taiwan's Consul-General Andrew Y.P. Chang told Mr Mohammed A.R. Galadari, Chairman of the Galadari Group of Companies and Publisher of Khaleej Times, when the former paid him a visit at the newspaper's office here yesterday.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 21 Dec 2004, 10:40 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:32 PM

Mr Mohammed A.R. Galadari, Chairman of the Galadari Group of Companies, meets Taiwan's Consul-General, Mr Andrew Y.P. Chang and the Vice-Consul, Mr Volkan Chih-Yang Huang at his office yesterday. — KT photo

During the meeting with Mr. Galadari, Mr Chang — who was accompanied by the Vice-Consul, Mr Volkan Chih-Yang Huang — discussed his country's ties with China and the rest of world.

To a question from Mr. Galadari, Mr Chang said although Taiwan is capable of defending itself and has sophisticated weaponry, which is more advanced than that of China, the island nation wants no confrontation with China. The country depends more on its people's strong will to defend itself, he added.

"We don't want to provoke China or have an arms race with China," said Mr Chang. "We want dialogue with China. Only dialogue can enable the two sides to build their relationship based on confidence and trust," he added.

Will it affect Taiwan if China, which is opening its markets in a major way, ask potential investors from the West who have bases in Taiwan, to choose between China and Taiwan? Mr. Galadari asked. Mr Chang said although Taiwan has no diplomatic ties with the United States, it has a very good relationship with Washington, which is reflected in their strong defence and economic cooperation. The US and the West have been strongly supportive of Taiwan, he said.

Mr Chang told Mr Galadari that Taiwan is keen on resolving the dispute with China through dialogue.

"While China is trying to bully us, insisting on the 'One China' principle, we have been reasoning that we are prepared to discuss everything at the negotiating table. But we cannot talk with China when it has deployed 500 missiles targeting Taiwan. We cannot talk at gunpoint," Mr Chang said, adding that Taiwan was keen to revive talks with China, which were suspended 10 years ago.

To Mr Galadari's question as to how Taiwan, a small nation of 36,000 sq km, had become an economic power, Mr Chang said the key to Taiwan's economic miracle lay in good governance.

The country, according to Mr Chang, has been blessed with the leadership, which has a clear vision for the future. Today, Taiwan's GDP stand at $14,000 and it has foreign reserves to the tune of $2,220 billion, third largest in the world. The country's position in global trade stands at 14th. IT products form Taiwan's major exports to the UAE and the rest of the world. Taiwan's economic relations with China are also quite strong.

"Taiwanese industries have invested $100 billion in China," Mr Chang said.

The diplomat told Mr Galadari that the world including Japan, the US and other members of the international community have a stake in peace and stability in the region. Tension between China and Taiwan not only affected the stability of the region, it endangers the world peace, he added.

Mr Chang invited Mr Galadari to visit Taiwan to study the situation for himself.

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