Wed, Jan 18, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Chen stands by policy in Kinmen

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian, center, poses with a number of government officials and troops of the Kinmen Tank Regiment as part of his tour of the island to wish the servicemen a happy new year. Chen is accompanied by, from left to right, Chief of the General Staff General Lee Tien-yu, Acting Presidential Office secretary-general Ma Yung-cheng, Minister of National Defense Lee Jye and Director of the General Political Warfare Bureau General Hu Chen-pu.

PHOTO: CNA

"Active management, effective opening" will remain the guideline for the nation when dealing with cross-strait issues so long as the Beijing government holds the ambition to annex Taiwan, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) reiterated yesterday while visiting the frontline island of Kinmen.

Making the remarks while inspecting military bases in Kinmen, the president said his administration would do its best to secure the common interests of Taiwan's 23 million people using this new approach to cross-strait issues if Beijing refuses to accept the four principles of "sovereignty, democracy, peace and parity" when dealing with Taiwan.

Chen made the remarks in reference to Chinese President Hu Jintao's (胡錦濤) recent call for improved cross-strait economic cooperation. Hu brought up the idea when he inspected economic zones in Xiamen last week.

"This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Taiwan Strait missile crisis, when, in an attempt to influence the Taiwanese people when electing their own president, China launched two waves of missiles in late 1995 and March 1996. However, we eventually completed our first presidential election thanks to the courage of the Taiwanese people and the efforts made by our servicemen to defend the country," Chen said.

Chen said it is a fact that China's rapid economic growth and expanding market have caught people's attention. However, China's animosity toward Taiwan has remained unchanged over the last decade, he added.

"China has aggressively expanded its military capability and has so far deployed 784 ballistic missiles targeting Taiwan. In addition, the `Anti-Secession' Law they promulgated in March last year has wrecked cross-strait relations," Chen said.

The president said his administration would continue to manage economic affairs involving China strictly in a bid to secure Taiwan's economic interests and also lower the associated political risks.

Chen said that unification would never be Taiwan's goal, and urged key figures from the opposition to ditch their fantasies about China.

In addition, Chen called for opposition lawmakers to consider the situation in Taiwan rationally, urging them to reverse their decision to deny budget proposals regarding arms procurement during the next parliamentary session.

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