Ex-president Ma says he has no plans to visit China soon

New York--Former President Ma Ying-jeou (???) said Saturday in the United States that he does not intend to visit mainland China in the near future and that Washington's reaffirmation of its one-China policy was fundamentally good for the U.S., China and Taiwan.

Taiwan's Classified National Security Information Protection Act requires former heads of state to obtain government approval to travel overseas up to three years after leaving office, Ma noted, adding that it would be better for him to visit China after the three year period expires.

"This does not totally rule out the possibility (that I will visit China soon) but the chances are slim," said Ma, who was about to depart New York for Boston on his seven-day visit to the U.S.

He also said the one-China policy is the cornerstone of Sino-U.S. relations and any changes in the policy could greatly impact the two countries. U.S. President Donald Trump's reaffirmation of his administration's commitment to the one-China policy is good for the U.S. and China and is fundamentally beneficial to Taiwan, Ma said.

He said the 10-minute congratulatory call Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (???) made to Trump on Dec. 2, 2016 was a low key and zero-accident occurrence that had been arranged based on the foundation for the development of Taiwan-U.S. relations, which was laid by his administration.

Ma said it was similar to his actions to make phone calls to members of the U.S. Congress while he was in transit in the U.S. on overseas trips as Taiwan's president.

Asked about his views on Chinese leaders, Ma said he thought former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Hu Jintao (???) was the official who was friendliest toward Taiwan.

Ma said that shortly after he took office as president in 2008, Taiwan and China resumed negotiations and exchanges and signed 23 economic agreements, all at a time when Hu was president of China.

When Hu stepped down, Ma said, he sent the Chinese leader a fax, wishing him a happy retirement and lauding his contribution to the development of cross-Taiwan Strait relations.

Meanwhile, in response to questions on domestic issues by overseas supporters of his Kuomintang party, Ma said the Tsai administration's establishment of a committee to deal with ill-gotten party assets was not only illegal but also unconstitutional. Furthermore, it is a violation the principles of non-retroactivity and presumption of innocence, Ma said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel