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FRANCE HAS NO INTENTION OF INTERFERING IN TAIWAN AFFAIRS: OFFICIAL

2004-01-31 17:36:26

    Taipei, Jan. 31 (CNA) The French government has no intention of interfering with Taiwan's internal affairs, Elizabeth Laurin, director of the French Institute in Taipei, said Friday.

    Laurin made the remarks when she visited Wang Yu-yuan, director of the European Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after French President Jacques Chirac was criticized earlier this week by Taiwan officials for calling Taiwan's planned March 20 referendum "a grave mistake."

    Richard Shih, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Laurin told Wang that France has held its "One China" policy for many years and that Chirac's remarks on Taiwan's referendum plan was intended to explain what France is doing. He has no intention of interfering with the internal affairs of any other country, Laurin said.

    Laurin said that France is concerned about peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait area and has repeatedly urged Taiwan and mainland China to hold more dialogue and resolve their problems by peaceful means.

    During the visit, Laurin also expressed the hope that substantive relations between France and Taiwan can be further strengthened, Shih said.

(By EH)

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