Thu, Feb 24, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Chen, Soong to discuss cross-strait views

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

A more agreeable view regarding cross-strait issues will be reached between President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) during their meeting today, Presidential Secretary-General Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday.

"I believe that after [today's] Chen-Soong meeting, both [Chen and Soong] would have more agreeable views than in the past about cross-strait relations. The meeting itself would be meaningful as well in establishing mechanisms and legal bases for issues concerning cross-strait peace development," Yu said. He made the remarks in response to media queries concerning today's highly anticipated Chen-Soong meeting.

The summit, the second to be held between Chen and Soong since 2000, will take place this morning at the Taipei Guest House. Cross-strait relations, ethnic harmony, national security and defense have been agreed by both sides as the three main topics to be discussed during the meeting.

"President Chen's administration and Soong's PFP each has its own ideals and stances on issues," Yu said.

"It is our hope that similarities could be found amid the differences, and that the Chen-Soong meeting would produce the greatest common denominator [on discussed issues]," he said.

Noting that Soong has wanted to push his party's proposed cross-strait peace advancement law, whereas Chen wishes to establish the Committee for Cross-Strait Peace and Development (兩岸和平發展委員會) via which to draft Guidelines to Cross-Strait Peace Development (兩岸和平發展綱領), Yu said that aides to both sides would further deliberate and communicate about the details after general principles have been laid down in the meeting.

Both Chen and Soong will not speak about details during their meeting, but would mainly have a discussion in terms of their general direction, principles and policies, Yu said.

When asked for comments regarding the PFP's previous claim that the DPP ought to abandon its Taiwan Independence clause (台獨黨綱) and the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan (PCT), which on Monday asked whether the DPP has forsaken its principles, Yu, noting that the president had in his inaugural speech and National Day address clearly delineated issues concerning the nation's status, future and cross-strait relations, said "these ideals will not be changed."

Stating that the president has been receptive to the PCT's admonitions, Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Ma Yung-cheng (馬永成) said that "the Chen-Soong meeting is a process and not a result."

"The purpose of the Chen-Soong meeting is to help advance cross-strait peace and people's wellbeing," Ma said.

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