Thu, Mar 28, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Chen thanks delegation for US support

GRATITUDE President Chen stressed that the US Congress' support led to the US arms sale to Taiwan in April, ensuring a balance in the cross-strait standoff

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday expressed his appreciation to the US for supporting Taiwan's bid to enter more international organizations.

He also stressed that the promise made by US President George W. Bush to observe the "Taiwan Relations Act" is a key element of Asia-Pacific security.

President Chen emphasized that the US Congress' strong support, which led to the US arms sale to Taiwan last April, ensured the balance of the cross-strait military situation and peace in the Taiwan Strait -- the major requirements for safeguarding Taiwan's democratic achievements.

Chen made the remarks when receiving a special delegation from the US House of Representatives at the Presidential Office yesterday morning.

He gave thanks on behalf of Taiwan for the US' help in Taiwan's accession to the WTO and in the process of getting Taiwan accredited as an observer at the World Health Organization (WHO).

"This support successfully helped Taiwan to open the global windows of opportunity," the president said.

Chen added that the speeches made by Bush during his East-Asia visit had again consolidated the relationship between Taiwan and the US.

"President Bush reaffirmed the US' promises to all Taiwanese and repeatedly declared to abide by the Taiwan Relations Act -- to provide Taiwan the necessary protection against Beijing," Chen said.

"This is an important foundation for the Asia-Pacific region and key to the reopening of dialogue between both sides of the Taiwan Strait," Chen said.

The president also thanked the US government for treating him to a comfortable, safe, convenient and dignified visit during his US stopover on his way to Latin America last May.

The Presidential Office is now planning a third diplomatic trip for Chen around July, one that the office hopes will include a transit stop in Washington.

The US guests expressed their firm support for Taiwan and stressed that they are impressed with the nation's achievements in the fields of democracy, human rights, and press freedom.

Chen then mentioned the topic of press freedom, stressing that wisdom is required when seeking to balance national security and press freedom.

"We will never harm the freedoms of the media with the mere argument that national security is paramount, but we won't ignore the issue of national security either."

"We hope to learn from the US experience and create a similar system to that in the US, to establish an intelligent supervision mechanism as well as legislate laws and regulations related to them," Chen said.

The US delegation includes House Representatives Sonny Callahan, John Duncan, Pete Sessions and former House Representative Greg Laughlin.

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