Taiwan President Ma to promote peace with China

Other News Materials 24 August 2008 04:18 (UTC +04:00)

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, in a speech to be delivered later Sunday, is expected to discuss broadening relations with China in an attempt to forge better relations between the two countries.

Ma is to speak at Kinmen Island, a Taiwan-held islet off China's southeastern coast, while attending a rally to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kinmen Battle, the dpa reported.

On August 23, 1958, China began to bombard Kinmen as it tried to recover Taiwan. Between August 23 and October 5, China is believed to have fired nearly half a million cannon balls on Kinmen, but failed to seize either the islet or Taiwan.

Ma, by delivering his speech at this former battleground, hopes to send a clear message to Beijing that Taiwan is serious about seeking peace with China, political analysts said.

The president will be accompanied by Premier Liu Chao-hsuan, military officials and veterans of the Kinmen Battle, the Liberty Times reported.

Ma's speech is entitled, From Killing Field to Peace Square, the report said.

Ma, from the China-friendly Chinese Nationalist Party, first outlined a peace proposal in his inauguration speech on May 20. China responded by inviting KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung to Beijing to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is also the secretary-general of the Chinese Communist Party.