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Fri, Jan 21, 2000 - Page 3 News List

Lien Chan ready to release policy paper on China

STAFF WRITER

Su Chi (蘇起), Chairman of the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC, 大陸委員會) expressed the hope yesterday that future relations with China would focus on economic issues rather than complex and divisive political problems.

His statement was made in support of comments made by Vice President and KMT presidential candidate Lien Chan (連戰), who is preparing to release a complete version of his cross-strait policy in the near future.

"Relations across the Strait should focus more on economics and less on politics," said Su. "Politics is full of symbolism, emotions and the issue of sovereignty. These are difficult to break free from."

Su made the comments during a retreat for legislator's assistants yesterday in Wulai, Taipei County.

During the retreat, much of the focus of discussion centered on comments made the previous day by Lien, who has indicated there could be room for movement in the government's cross-strait policy.

"As long as cross-strait relations see some clear improvement and the rights of Taiwanese investors can be guaranteed, then it will be possible to make some adjustments to the `go slow, be patient' policy," Lien said.

Su backed up the vice president's comments yesterday.

"If China wants to open up, then of course we will make complementary adjustments. The scope for adjustment to the `go slow be patient' policy can be either great or small, [depending on circumstances]."

The local press is already speculating how Lien will put a fresh spin on cross-strait relations. Some have suggested he will define Taiwan's "special state-to-state" relations with China as the outline of a federation. Lien is also expected to put a more creative spin on the "go slow, be patient" policy.

It is still unclear whether Lien will release his cross-strait policy before or after Chinese New Year.

Independent presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) advocates the signing of a 50-year "mutual non-aggression peace treaty" with China to help improve relations, saying that ties could be of a "quasi-international relationship under relative sovereignty."

The DPP's Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) advocates defining relations as "state-to-state with a special nature" and helping both sides move toward building confidence.

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