Wed, Nov 22, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Bush asked about Chen's word: Chang

CONCERNED PARTY The US president relayed his worries about Chen Shui-bian's inaugural promises during their exchanges at the APEC leaders' summit held in Vietnam

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

US President George W. Bush expressed concern over the commitments President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) made in his inaugural addresses, Chen's special envoy to the recent APEC summit said yesterday.

"President Bush said that he hoped to see President Chen stick to those promises," Morris Chang (張忠謀), chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, told a press conference held at the Presidential Office following a meeting with Chen.

Chang, who attended the two-day APEC leaders summit on Chen's behalf, returned from Hanoi on Monday and visited Chen yesterday morning.

Chang, who met Chen at the Presidential Office one day before his departure, said Chen asked him to tell Bush that he would keep the promises he made in his 2004 inauguration speech, including those concerning cross-strait issues.

Convey concerns

Bush also asked Chang to convey his concerns to Chen over the commitments Chen made.

Chen pledged during his second inaugural speech in 2004 to deliver a new Constitution that was timely, relevant and viable to the people of Taiwan before his term expires in 2008.

He promised to steer clear of such sensitive issues as sovereignty, territorial boundaries and independence during this round of constitutional reform.

Describing Bush as an "upbeat" and "cheerful" individual, Chang said Bush told him that he felt he could do a lot of things after the mid-term elections.

During his meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), Chang said Hu told him on various occasions that China places the same importance on Taiwan's economic development as it does to its own and he hoped to see both sides of the Taiwan Strait enjoy sound economic performance.

`Step by step'

"He told me that he hoped to see both sides focus on economic development and resolve their other problems step by step," Chang said.

Although Chang said that he spent most of his time interacting with Hu and Bush, he also had interesting exchanges with leaders from Japan, Singapore and the Philippines.

Describing his communications with the leaders as "friendly, warm and constructive," Chang said he was thankful that his wife Sophie Chang (張淑芬) helped him in the task.

He, however, declined to grade her performance, saying that they both considered the trip as a job and enjoyed what they did.

Meanwhile, Chen acknowledged the couple's performance at the summit, hailing Morris Chang as the "light of Taiwan" and saying that he was "happy, impressed and touched" by Sophie Chang's performance.

"I'm glad that he succeeded in the mission that I entrusted him with," Chen said.

`National voice'

"In addition to bilateral talks and social interaction with the APEC leaders, he spent time talking to the international media and offering a voice for the country, he added."

Chen said he was grateful that Chang and the delegation did a good job in promoting Taiwan and its freedom, democracy, prosperity and progress.

Their hard work won the respect of both the international body's 21 member economies and the international community in general, he said.

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