Sat, Jun 11, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Official visits to US might help cross-strait ties, PFP says

CNA , TAIPEI

Visits to the US by Taiwan's democratically elected leaders would be conducive to the development of cross-strait relations, a People First Party (PFP) whip said yesterday.

Chen Chih-pin (陳志彬), convener of the PFP's legislative caucus made the comments while expressing support for the passage of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, with an amendment to Section 806, which supports high-level official visits to the US by Taiwan's elected leaders. The passage was made by the International Relations Committee of the US House of Representatives on Thursday.

Chen said that allowing Taiwanese leaders to make official visits to the US will also help the Taiwanese people better grasp their leaders' ideas and the government's policy on cross-strait relations.

"At least the president wouldn't dare lie to the US president during such a visit, and what he would say would count, even if he lies to the people and lawmakers back home," Chen said.

Chen added that since the US is committed to protecting Taiwan based on the Taiwan Relations Act, it is essential and imperative for the president of the Republic of China to visit the US.

The amendment that the International Relations Committee passed on Thursday was submitted by the House International Relations Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations on May 26.

The proposed amendment says that "it is in the national interests of the United States to communicate directly with democratically elected and appointed officials of Taiwan, including the president of Taiwan, the vice president of Taiwan, the foreign minister of Taiwan, and the defense minister of Taiwan."

"The Department of State should, in accordance with Public Law 103-416, admit such high level officials of Taiwan to the United States to discuss issues of mutual concern with the US officials," the amendment also states.

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