Thu, Dec 15, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Cross-strait dignity must be upheld, Chen tells guests

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Cross-strait exchanges have to be processed based on the principles of sovereignty, democracy, peace and equality, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday.

Chen made the remarks when meeting representatives of the Atlantic Council of the United States at the Presidential Office. He also said that Taiwan had shown friendliness whenever they have tried to engage with China, but the task remained extremely challenging at present.

"Don't forget that one of the conclusions reached earlier this year during my meeting with James Soong (宋楚瑜), chairman of the People First Party, was to get Beijing to admit that Taiwan, or the Republic of China (ROC), was an independent country with its own sovereignty," Chen said.

Chen said yesterday that in May, before Soong set out for China, he had reminded him that the principles of sovereignty, democracy, peace and equality must be upheld. However, it was sad that Soong only mentioned the ROC briefly because of pressure he from Beijing while he was in China.

Chen said it would be a very bad situation if Beijing only communicated with Taiwan's oppos-ition parties.

"We have our own government. Our authority should not be un-dermined by anybody," Chen said.

Yesterday was the first time the president has talked about cross-strait issues since the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) punishing defeat in the Dec. 3 local elections.

Following the DPP's loss in last year's legislative elections, his meeting with Soong in February and the 10-point consensus that they agreed upon drew much ire from pro-independence supporters.

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