Thu, Oct 05, 2006 - Page 3 News List

US hopes reform will not alter status quo

STAFF WRITER WITH CNA , WASHINGTON

The US hopes Taiwan's ongoing constitutional reform will comply with President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) commitments with regard to maintaining the cross-strait status quo, a US official said on Tuesday.

"We are looking to see that when that reform package is presented and what changes are eventually made, that they do comply with the promises that President Chen made not only to us but to the rest of the world," US State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said.

Casey reiterated that the US does not wish to see tensions increase across the strait or see anything occur that would change the status quo.

"He [Chen] has made a number of public commitments, including those commitments he made in his inaugural address. And we very much look to him and look to his leadership to carry out those commitments," Casey said.

Casey made the remarks when asked to comment on a statement by Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), deputy secretary-general of the Presidential Office, that President Chen would not break his "four noes" commitments and would seek to negotiate with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to ensure that the constitutional reform package to be proposed by the party does not violate the "four noes."

In his 2000 and 2004 inauguration addresses, Chen pledged that if China has no intention of using force against Taiwan, he would not declare Taiwan independence, not change the official name of the country, not enshrine the "state-to-state" concept on cross-strait relations in the Constitution and not promote a referendum to change the cross-strait status quo.

On several occasions, Chen has promised that sensitive issues concerning sovereignty and changes to territorial boundaries and the national title will be excluded from the process of constitutional reform.

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