A White House spokesman played down on Friday questions on the origin of Washington's congratulatory statement on President Chen Shui-bian's (
National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack made the remarks while responding to media questions regarding the White House statement congratulating Chen on his re-election and the fact that the congratulatory message came from the White House press secretary rather than from US President George W. Bush himself.
Chen defeated the pan-blue ticket of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (
The White House issued a statement on March 26 in the name of the White House press secretary congratulating Chen on his re-election and reiterated its commitment to its "one-China" policy and the Taiwan Relations Act. The statement also exhorted the Taiwanese public to resolve the election dispute through established legal mechanisms.
Asked to explain why the statement was not issued in the name of Bush, McCormack said that "we wouldn't read any greater policy implications into what we said."
"We congratulated Mr. Chen on his election victory and also noted our confidence in the Taiwan people and Taiwan's democracy to resolve any questions that surround that election," he added.
As to a question relating to Vice President Annette Lu's (呂秀蓮) request that Bush send a high-level delegation to attend the May 20 inauguration ceremony of the president- and vice president-elect, the spokesman said that no announcement would be made at this point.
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