Mon, Oct 20, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Lee Yuan-tseh asks China to put aside conditions for talks

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER , IN BANGKOK

Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), head of Academia Sinica and President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) special emissary to APEC, yesterday suggested that China put aside preconditions for cross-strait talks, adding that the "1992 consensus" should not be used as a basis for the resumption of dialogue.

"The best way way to resume dialogue between the two sides of the Strait is to put aside disagreements, just as both sides had done in 1992," said Lee Cher-jean (李雪津), spokeswoman of Taiwan's APEC delegation at a press conference

Lee Yuan-tseh told the BBC and Reuters yesterday that the term "1992 census" has been controversial, while stressing the need for both sides to resume dialogue.

The spokeswoman said Lee was asked during the interview whether he has the chance to speak with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤).

Lee Yuan-tseh said that only if China puts aside its preconditions can mutual understanding and reconciliation take place.

The spokeswoman said, "Dr. Lee believes that the best way is to put aside disagreement and sit down to have a good talk."

When asked in the interview about what kind of message he would like to convey to US President George W. Bush, Lee Yuan-tseh said Chen had instructed him to pass on that Taiwan will observe the `fives noes.'"

Chen made the `five noes' pledge in his inauguration speech in 2000. The "noes" are: no declaration of independence, no changes in the country's name, not writing the state-to-state model into the Constitution, no referendum on Taiwan's future and no abolition of the unification guidelines.

Lee said that he had also been instructed by Chen to stress to Bush that Taiwan is not a troublemaker.

"Plans to hold referendums and to rewrite the Constitution stem from public opinion and the rewriting of Constitution is to be in line with reality," Lee said.

"These issues are not related to the issue of Taiwan independence or Taiwan's unification with China," Lee said.

Lee told his interviewers that China-based Taiwanese businesspeople have made great contributions to the growth and development of China's economy.

"So both sides should cooperate in this regard," he said.

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