Tue, Dec 03, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Koo lands another term as SEF head, urges negotiations

By Lin Miao-Jung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫) was re-elected yesterday to a fifth three-year term.

Koo, 85, has been led the foundation for the past 12 years.

Two vice chairmen, Shi Hwai-yow (許惠祐) and Hsu Sheng-fa (許勝發), will also stay on in their posts, while DPP Legislator Chang Chun-hung (張俊宏) was elected to replace Samuel Shieh (謝森中), who will continue to serve as secretary-general.

"I hope that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can restart talks as soon as possible," Koo told reporters after the election.

Koo said China's new leadership and Taiwan's authorities are aware of the importance of resuming cross-strait talks.

"Nothing can be solved without negotiation," he said.

Koo said he hoped that Wang Daohan (汪道涵), head of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, would visit Taiwan as soon as possible.

Asked what made him stay on in his post, Koo smiled and said, "I would like to see cross-strait relations develop and I have a sense of responsibility about achieving that."

Koo is known to be in poor health and has kidney problems.

Chang said he had been concerned about cross-strait relations for many years.

"The two sides of the Taiwan Strait should cherish the existing peace. The achievements to date that were not easily accomplished," he said.

Chang said he had met President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) before yesterday's election to discuss cross-strait affairs.

He quoted Chen as saying, "As long as Koo and Wang can sit down to talks again, the 1.3 billion Chinese people and the 23 million Taiwanese people can find comfort."

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