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Taipei urged to 'obey will of the people'
By Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-25 05:56

"Taiwan has gained an accumulated trade surplus of US$330 billion with the mainland, even more than Taiwan's current foreign exchange reserve," Li said. "Without this surplus, Taiwan would surely have a deficit in its overall trade."

He noted that the Taiwan authorities should have a clear idea about how the huge trade surplus with the mainland has directly boosted Taiwan's economy, created job opportunities and raised the incomes of local residents.

At the news briefing, Li welcomed Taiwan business people to invest in Olympic projects and related commercial activities ahead of the 2008 Games in Beijing.

"We welcome Taiwan athletes to compete in the 2008 Olympic Games, and also welcome other Taiwan compatriots to come and serve as volunteers for the Games," he added.

Li said the mainland will seriously consider allowing the Olympic torch relay to cross Taiwan. "The Beijing Olympic organizing committee will fully consider the desire of the Taiwan compatriots when designing the route of the Olympic torch relay to enable them to share the joy and glory of the sacred Olympic flame," he said.

In a related development, former DPP chairman Lin Yi-hsiung quit the party yesterday, saying infighting and lack of rational debate had led to social instability and widening differences between the island's ethnic groups.

He said there is "no longer any meaning" in continuing his party membership since he has no intention to run for future office.

To date, three former DPP chairmen Lin, Hsu Hsin-liang and Shi Ming-te have withdrawn from the party after leaving the DPP chairmanship.

(China Daily 01/25/2006 page1)

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