Date: October 1, 2015
By Jean Yoon and J.R. Wu
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said on Thursday the island was not
ready to discuss unification with China, sending a firm message to an increasingly assertive Beijing eager to absorb what it considers a renegade province.
Ma, 65, told Reuters in an exclusive interview that, though the economic and social gaps between the proudly democratic island and its giant Communist neighbour were narrowing, their political differences remained wide.
“The political situation between the two sides is still very different,” said Ma, speaking on the day China was celebrating its National Day. “I think to discuss matters, such as unification, is not very suitable. Taiwan is not ready.”
Although his eight-year presidency has been characterised by warming business ties with China, Ma, who steps down next year due to term limits, repeated how “the time was not yet ripe” for unification talks between the once bitter enemies. [FULL STORY]