Thu, Nov 11, 2004 - Page 1 News List

NSC mulls how to make `Code of Conduct' a reality

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) idea of a Code of Conduct for cross-strait relations was fleshed out some more yesterday in a four-hour closed-door meeting of the National Security Council.

"It's been a month since President Chen made his National Day address on Oct. 10" in which the Code of Conduct was raised, National Security Council Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) said at a news conference held at the Presidential Office last night.

"We don't want the National Day address to be just empty words, so the meeting was called to deliberate issues and provide directions on how to bring about the Code of Conduct, Chiou said.

Chiou said that other issues such as those relating to Taiwan-US-China relations after the US presidential election were also discussed.

In his Double Ten National Day address, Chen proposed both sides of the Taiwan Strait establish a "Code of Conduct across the Taiwan Strait" as a guarantee of peace.

Chiou said that Chen reiterated during the meeting that both sides should seriously consider the issue of arms control and adopt concrete actions to reduce tension and military threats across the Taiwan Strait.

For example, while both sides observe a line down the middle of the Taiwan Strait as separating their zones of military activity, it would be more of a safeguard if that line could be thickened into a proper demilitarized area to avoid any risk of misunderstandings that might lead to conflict.

Chen also urged China to renounce its nuclear weapons development.

"In view of humanitarian reasons and international norms, we think weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear weapon, biological and chemical weapons should be banned from use across the Taiwan Strait," Chen said.

"We are willing to openly pledge that we will never develop these kinds of weapons and would like to urge China to openly renounce developing and using them," Chen said.

Stressing that Taiwan's democratic and economic development are the international community's asset and not its burden, Chen expressed gratitude for the US' affirmation of its "Six Assurances" to Taiwan and said that both the US and Taiwan should, based on their shared values, continue to cooperate and safeguard the Asian-Pacific region's security and stability.

Stating that cross-strait peace should be placed above partisan feuds and personal interests, Chen pledged also to invite leaders from all political parties after the legislative elections to collaborate on establishing a Committee for Cross-strait Peace and Development (兩岸和平發展委員會).

Chen added that he would not rule out the possibility of having opposition leaders head the committee.

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