Sat, Nov 20, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Lee Yuan-tseh will deliver goodwill message to China

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER IN SANTIAGO , CHILE

The recent string of goodwill gestures extended by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will be the main message his special envoy to APEC conveys to Chen's Chinese counterpart in the upcoming APEC leaders' summit.

"When I see Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), I'll tell him that President Chen has expressed goodwill gestures in various occasions and that his resolve to pursue peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is strong," Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), the president of Academia Sinica, told a press conference held upon his arrival. "I don't have any new messages for President Hu, except for those mentioned in President Chen's inauguration speech, the National Day address and the Nov. 11 speech."

During Chen's inauguration speech, he pledged to honor the "five noes" promised in his 2000 inauguration speech. He also urged both sides to establish a dynamic "peace and stability framework" for interactions.

Chen called on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to use a 1992 meeting in Hong Kong as the basis to return to the negotiating table during the National Day address.

On the one-month anniversary of his National Day address, Chen reiterated proposals made during his National Day speech and proposed that both sides seriously consider the issue of arms control and establish confidence-building measures through consultations and dialogues.

Chen also urged both sides to review military policies and seek to establish a code of conduct across the Taiwan Strait as a tangible guarantee of permanent peace in the Taiwan Strait.

Lee said that he also plans to mention Chen's recent invitation to Wang Daohan (汪道涵), China's chief cross-strait negotiator. Chen had invited Wang to visit his Taiwanese counterpart, Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫), who has been severely ill, on the foundation of the 1992 Hong Kong meeting and 1993 Koo-Wang talks.

Commenting on the recent Cabinet reshuffle in the Bush administration, Lee said that he remained upbeat about Taiwan-US relations and suspected that it would remain unchanged during Bush's second presidential term.

"The US is a maturely developed democratic country, so I don't think its foreign policy will change dramatically simply because of the replacement of a few people," he said. "I believe President Bush will exert himself in maintaining Taiwan-US relations and safeguarding peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region for the following four years."

Casting the removal of a Taiwanese promotion video because of China's protests as a "petty matter," Lee said that he knew little about the fracas because he had been in Japan attending a technology forum.

William Yih (易榮宗), spokesman for the Taiwanese delegation, was assigned by Lee to answer the question.

"We feel sorry about what happened because no APEC member economy has the right to conduct anything similar to news censorship on any other member economy," he said. "We hope the matter ends here and both sides focus on more constructive issues."

Lee also expressed optimism over the bilateral talks with other economic leaders during the forthcoming leaders' summit.

"Economic leaders come to the meeting every year to discuss regional problems and possible solutions. This year is no exception," he said. "While we have not yet finalized the bilateral meetings with other economy leaders, I believe there are plenty of opportunities to do so."

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