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Ma departs on trip to China amid protests

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday departed for a 12-day trip to China as scheduled, despite calls for him to cancel the trip after Honduras severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan as an apparent result of China’s dollar diplomacy.

“This is my first trip to China. I was 37 when I began handling cross-strait affairs in the government. Now I am 73 and have waited 36 years for the visit. It is indeed a bit too long, but I am glad I can go,” Ma of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) told reporters at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

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Most in US choose protecting Taiwan over China ties

More than half of US respondents in a poll considered protecting Taiwan more important than maintaining good relations with China, a survey conducted by The Economist and YouGov showed.

The poll conducted from Feb. 25 to Tuesday last week asked 1,500 adult US citizens questions about the US’ role amid rising tensions between Taiwan and China.

Fifty-one percent of the respondents said it is more important for the US “to take a strong stand so that China does not take over Taiwan by force,” while 24 percent preferred “the US to maintain good relations with China.”

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Newsflash

Democratic Progressive Party's presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen at an election rally last month.(Photo/AP)

DHARAMSHALA, February 24: A former presidential candidate and leader of Taiwan’s largest opposition party, has expressed concerns over the situation in Tibet and called on President Ma Ying-jeou to voice his concerns to Beijing.

Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen said she was “heartbroken” with the increasing reports of self-immolation protests by Tibetans in her meeting with Dawa Tsering, director of the Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Wednesday.