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Taiwan Demands 'Balanced Approach" From China For Cementing Bilateral Ties

Taiwan has asked China to desist from attempts to humiliate it in international fora, in the strongest warning yet from the island Republic, the official Central News Agency (CNA) said in a despatch on Monday.

In a chat with CNA, President Ma Ying-jeou said China should indeed accord the necessary respect to Taiwan at least for the sake of carrying forward the mutual trust and goodwill built up over the last couple of years.

Ma's remarks reveal a hardening of postures on Taiwan's part in the wake of the public spat involving head of the Chinese delegation at last October's Tokyo International Film Festival.

Jiang Ping triggered a major diplomatic row in Taiwan when he openly said the little nation should have participated in the film fete under the name "China Taiwan" or "Chinese Taipei."

Ma noted that it took around one-and-a half years for Beijing and Taipei to reach an agreement on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). According to him, another incident like the one involving Jiang could well negate the progress made on ECFA.

The ECFA was signed in June as part of the efforts toward further normalization of ties and has been hailed in diplomatic circles as the most constructive step toward reconciliation taken by the two sides which went their separate ways in 1949.

Conceding that several bilateral disputes still remain, Ma said efforts should be made toward betterment of ties and overcoming the "trust-deficit."

After being elected to office in 2008, Ma has pursued a policy of engaging China unlike the rather strident line adopted by his predecessor Chen Shui-bian.

Taiwanese media, meanwhile, said that former Vice-President Lien Chan raised the "nomenclature" issue at a meeting with China's President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Summit in Japan. But Hu reportedly remained non-committal and merely said that negotiations should be sought regarding Taiwan's participation in international affairs, so that disputes could be avoided.

China still considers Taiwan a renegade state despite the island has governed itself for over half-a-century.

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