While China continues to increase its pressure on Taiwan to meet its demands and accept "one China," President-elect Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday that equality, no pre-conditions and a desire to handle the issue peacefully were needed.
First, Chen said, "Both sides shall respect each other and accept each other on an equal standing." Second, "And in accordance with the UN Constitution, any disputes between the two sides shall be resolved by peaceful means," and, "Finally, there shall be no pre-conditions established on the future development of cross-strait relations."
Addressing cross-strait issues during a meeting with Japanese politicians yesterday, Chen said all that was really needed were these three principles.
"We believe it is under these three conditions that suspended cross-strait dialogues could be reinstated, and any form of peace agreements could be signed," he said.
"Peace is not achieved by force, but by mutual understanding. And only the peace which is achieved on a basis of equality is genuine and enduring," Chen said.
Before the election, China issued a stern warning to Taiwan that it would no longer tolerate any attempts by Taiwan to delay cross-strait dialogue and would consider using force against Taiwan if a deadlock remained.
Chen, who has showed willingness to improve cross-strait relations, stressed yesterday it is under these three conditions that he will be willing to reinstate dialogue and even sign any potential peace agreements or treaties with China.
Tamisuke Watanuki, a Liberal Democratic Party member in Japan's House of Representatives visited with a present from Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, with whom the president-elect had a good meeting during his visit to Japan last July.
Chen said he had met with several officials of Japan's defense agency and talked about cross-strait issues during the visit.
"Among other thing, we agreed with one another that pursuit of peace across the Taiwan Strait means pursuit of security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region," Chen said.
Chen said that he and Mori had originally planned to meet with each other -- when they shared a meal together last July in Japan -- after Taiwan's presidential election. But unfolding events made this impossible.
"It was unexpected that I was elected Taiwan's president and then-LDP secretary-general Mori became Japan's prime minister, and I don't think we'll be able to keep the appointment," Chen said, suggesting a visit to Japan would be difficult during his tenure as president, in part because of the fierce condemnation such a visit would inspire from Beijing.
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