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  • Taiwan has to demonstrate will to defend itself: president ( from Central News Agency
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Taipei, May 5 (CNA) As a sovereign country, Taiwan has to demonstrate to the world its determination to defend itself, President Ma ying-jeou said Wednesday.

That was why he stated, during an interview on CNN on April 30, that "we will never ask the Americans to fight for Taiwan, " he reiterated.

Ma, who is also chairman of the Kuomintang, said in a meeting of the party's decision-making Central Standing Committee that he tried to let the American public know that "the U.S. does not need to send troops to Taiwan's defense as it did in Afghanistan and Iraq, therefore, there is no comparison with those two countries," The president said he had to make this point clearly to Americans, otherwise, the future of Taiwan-U.S. relations could be adversely affected.

As a sovereign country, Taiwan has to demonstrate its determination to defend itself, Ma said. "I promise there will be no war in the Taiwan Strait during my tenure." Besides, his remarks were made on legal grounds, the president added. Neither the now defunct 1954 "Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty" nor the "Taiwan Relations Act" provides legal basis for the U.S. to send troops to defend Taiwan, he said, Before the "Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty" was nullified in 1979, the U.S. posted military advisors, rather than troops, to the Republic of China (Taiwan), the president pointed out.

Even during the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis, when China shelled the islands of Matsu and Quemoy in an attempt to seize them from Taiwan, the U.S. naval vessels that were taking supplies to the two frontline islands stopped three miles away from Taiwan's territorial waters, he added.

Ma said the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party's criticism of his comments on the issue as an attempted sellout of Taiwan was "nonsense." He challenged the advocates of Taiwan independence to show their resolve to defend Taiwan and to act like the "brave Taiwanese they claim to be." (By Lee Shu-hua & Bear Lee) Enditem /pc
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