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NO CHANGE IN U.S. POLICY TOWARD TAIWAN: ROC OFFICIAL

2004-01-01 19:17:37

    Taipei, Jan. 1 (CNA) Whatever the U.S. State Department's deputy spokesman Adam Ereli has said, there is no change in the U.S. policy toward Taiwan, Joseph Jaushieh Wu, deputy secretary-general to President Chen Shui-bian said Thursday.

    He said Taipei has checked about Ereli's statement with other departments in the U.S. and was assured that there is no change in U.S. policy toward Taiwan. The president's deputy chief of staff suggested that Ereli's statement should not be taken seriously, saying it was neither made in a news conference, nor put on any U.S. official record.

    Ereli said in Washington Wednesday that the United States opposes any unilateral measures that affects the current status across the Taiwan Strait, including the referenda called for by ROC President Chen, and "we would urge the government of Taiwan to heed [our concerns]."

    The U.S. State Department's deputy spokesman also said in his last briefing of 2003 that the U.S. still holds President Chen to his inaugural commitment in defiance of Chen's claims that Beijing military buildup have exempted him from living up to his pledge that he would not attempt to change the country's current status in relation to mainland China during his presidency,

    Chen, who is running for a second term, made the referendum a vital part of his campaign and has vowed to go ahead with it despite Washington's disapproval.

    Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim from Chen's Democratic Progressive Party said Ereli's statement is somewhat different from what she knew was U.S. State Department senior officials' point of view.

    She didn't elaborated but reiterated the president's claim that the proposed referenda would not change the status quo across the Taiwan Strait in any way. Taiwan will continue trying to get this message across to the United States, she said.

(By Maubo Chang)

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