Fri, Jun 25, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Foreign minister says US trust is returning

POSITIVE COMMENTS Mark Chen, on a tour of the US, said that feedback from US officials on the president's inauguration speech indicated things were improving


The government has given priority to rebuilding trust with the US since President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) inauguration, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) said in New York on Wednesday.

Chen said that the friendship between Taiwan and the US has a solid basis. Although the relationship was strained during the presidential election, Chen said, bilateral relations have gradually returned to previous levels.

Chen said his optimistic outlook was based on positive US comments about Chen Shui-bian's inauguration speech and the courteous treatment that Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) received during her recent transit stops in Las Vegas and San Francisco.

In his view, the minister said, now is a "testing time" for bilateral relations, as the Bush administration is watching to see whether Taiwan will abide by the commitments that Chen Shui-bian made in his inauguration address.

Mark Chen said the Democratic Progressive Party must be pragmatic in implementing its party platform and pursuing its party goals. The ruling party must put national interests above everything else, he said.

The foreign minister arrived in New York Wednesday after concluding a three-day visit to New England states, where he met with Charles Fogarty, deputy governor of Rhode Island; Mitt Romney, governor of Massachusetts; Sister Therese Antone, president of Salve Regina University; and academics from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

He also delivered a speech in Newport, Rhode Island, on recent developments in Taiwan.

This is the foreign minister's first overseas trip since assuming office.

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