Thu, Oct 19, 2006 - Page 3 News List

US wants Chen to keep promises

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA, WASHINGTON

The US State Department urged President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on Tuesday to live up to the promises he made in his two inaugural addresses.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey made the remarks when responding to questions regarding Chen's recent proposal that the Constitution be frozen to enact a "Second Republic constitution" that fits the status quo in Taiwan.

Casey said that the US policy on Taiwan is a "long-standing" one and that the US certainly "doesn't want to see any actions taken by anyone that would unilaterally change the status quo and certainly expects that any issues that are involved in terms of cross-strait relations would be addressed through dialogue rather than unilateral action."

Chen pledged in his inauguration speech in 2000 and again in 2004 that he would not declare independence, not change the nation's name, not include the "special state-to-state relations" concept regarding cross-strait ties in the Constitution and not promote a referendum on the issue of unification versus independence.

Meanwhile, the State Department also said on Tuesday that it would not support the Executive Yuan's promotion of a campaign to rectify the names of Taiwan's state-controlled businesses.

Such steps would appear to unilaterally change Taiwan's status and to move Taiwan toward independence, US officials said.

"In maintaining stability in the Taiwan Straits, the United States opposes any unilateral steps that would change the status quo. The United States does not support Taiwan independence and would not support steps including changes of terminology for government controlled enterprises or Taiwan's Economic and Cultural Offices abroad that would appear to unilaterally change Taiwan's status," the officials said.

The Executive Yuan promoted the name change campaign as early as 2004, and then US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli reaffirmed the US' position of not supporting it.

"The United States has an interest in maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait. That's what we want to see, and we are therefore opposed to any unilateral steps that would change the status quo," Ereli said at the time.

"These changes of terminology for government-controlled enterprises or economic and cultural offices abroad, in our view, would appear to unilaterally change Taiwan's status, and for that reason we're not supportive of them," he said.

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