Taiwan's de facto ambassador to Washington, David Lee (
He said the window could begin after next week's legislative elections are completed.
That election would complete a year of important political changes in all three parties involved -- Taiwan, China and the US -- and usher in a period free of elections.
Such electoral periods focus attention on domestic, rather that foreign affairs, and tend to limit the scope for discussion of sensitive issues, Lee said.
Over the past year, he noted, the US and Taiwan have gone through both presidential and legislative elections, and, in China, President Hu Jintao (
That made this year "a difficult year" in cross-strait relations, said Lee, whose title is representative of the Taipei economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington.
"But in 2005 and 2006, we hope that we will see some window of opportunity to resume dialogue across the Taiwan Strait," Lee said in a luncheon address at a George Washington University symposium on Taiwan and Cross-Strait Relations in Washington on Friday.
With Hu and premier Wen Jiabao (
Such talks could be in the spirit of the 1992 Hong Kong formula in which both sides "set aside all controversial issues and instead engaged in discussions of substance."
While Washington has shunned the idea of acting as a mediator for such talks, Lee said that Washington "will probably choose to play the role of facilitator."
Lee also addressed the lingering concern in Washington over President Chen Shui-bian's (
He recalled that in the late 1980s and the 1990s, Taiwan was lauded "as an emerging democracy, a shining example of ... economic prosperity and democratization."
However, in the past four months since he arrived in Washington in late July to replace Chen Chien-jen (
"In recent months, I have heard some criticism, blaming Taiwan for some of regional tensions, which I do not share," he said.
Lee conceded that many people in Washington feel that Taiwan's political "growing pains" are continuing.
He responded that "you have to realize that it has not been very easy, it has been a long way for Taiwan to reach where we are. The most important thing for us is to stick with the goal of democratization ... However, in the meantime, we have to do something to help alleviate some of the concerns, and the issues that exist between Washington and Taipei."
He also noted that "there is still a lot of concern in official Washington as well as in the think tanks and the academic community" about Chen's plans for constitutional reform.
"After the legislative election, the government will work with the US government, we will work with the people in the think tanks and the academic community to let you know better how we are going to approach constitutional reform." Lee said.