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Translated by Wen-yee Lee and Olivia Yang

On January 22, President Ma Ying-jeou said that many countries have been signing bilateral trade agreements, such as The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and Taiwan must join these partnerships. Although there are many difficulties, Ma said he would not allow the appearance of a caretaker government.

Newtalk reports, Ma said this morning that Taiwan has implemented a policy of being open, instead of following the close-door diplomatic policy implemented in the past. This has led to Taiwan’s industries opening markets to its first trade partnership China, second partnership Japan, and fifth partnership Singapore by signing bilateral economic agreements in the past eight years.

Ma said it’s important for Taiwan to take similar actions, which is becoming a world economy trend, especially during these times when the function of WTO is weakening and many countries are signing bilateral trade agreements.

Ma pointed out, during this period of time, the phenomenon of regional integration in Asia is unprecedented. For example, twelve countries have reached a consensus and are expected to finish signing the TPP Agreement by the end of next month; Asean Economic Community (AEC) has been launched on December 31, 2015, and the ten countries in this community will gradually form a single market; RCEP has finished its several rounds of negotiations and its final deal may be signed this year.

CNA reports that Ma Ying-jeou believes Taiwan should participate in all three economic partnerships, but there are many political and economic difficulties. Ma says that he still has four months in the presidential office, not four months left to live, and the Ma government will do its best until May 19.

UDN reports, Ma said on November 7 last year that the most important goal of the Ma-Xi meeting was to maintain cross-strait communication. He also said peace between the strait can be sustained as long as the new president follows the 1992 consensus and idea of “one China, different interpretations."

Edited by Olivia Yang