Wed, Dec 01, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Chen Shui-bian says he will stick to his `four noes' promise

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) reaffirmed yesterday that he will uphold the pledges he made in his inaugural speech this year and Oct. 10 National Day address.

Chen's remarks came in reaction to a statement made by US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher on Monday, who cautioned Taiwan against holding a referendum to seek independence.

"I am representing the government, and reaffirm that all the pledges I made during the May 20 inaugural speech, the National Day address on Oct. 10 and the `10 points' speech after the national security meeting still stand," Chen said while receiving visiting US congressmembers John Culberson, a Texas Republican; John Carter, also a Texas Rebublican; and Phil Gingrey, a Georgia Republican, at the Presidential Office.

Chen promised in his inaugural speech this year that he would not declare independence, not change the name of Taiwan's government, not to add the state-to-state model to the Constitution and not to promote a referendum to change the status quo.

The "10 points" speech after the national security meeting on Nov. 11 included a commitment to seek stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait.

"There have not been any changes so far, and will be none during the rest of my term in office," Chen added.

Last Saturday, Chen proposed holding of a referendum on a new constitution in 2006 and having it implemented in 2008, when his second term in office ends.

During the meeting with his US visitors yesterday, Chen stressed that he has no plans to change the status quo of Taiwan's relations with China through legal reform.

Chen said the formulation of the new constitution will proceed in accordance with the existing constitutional system, in which the plan must first obtain the approval of three-quarters of the Legislative Yuan before it can proceed to a referendum on drafting a new constitution.

One of the items in the proposed constitutional reform package passed by the Legislative Yuan on Aug. 23 stated that the National Assembly will be abolished, and after it is abolished, bills regarding constitutional amendments and territorial changes will need to be ratified by the public via referendum after being passed by the legislature.

Next year will be the last year that members of the National Assembly will be elected.

Deputy Presidential Office Secretary-General James Huang (黃志芳) said that the government, while promoting constitutional reform, will step up its communication with the international community in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

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