PRESIDENT WILL NOT JEOPARDIZE SECURITY FOR DIRECT LINKS WITH MAINLAND
Taipei, Feb. 20 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian said Friday in Tainan County, southern Taiwan, that he will not open direct transportation links with mainland China if doing so would threaten the country's security.
Telling a group of his supporters that national security and the country's dignity are his greatest concerns, he claimed that direct transportation links could endanger both, which is why he has not open these links until now despite the advocacy of many people.
Noting that the country has done all it can to bring the unemployment rate down to 4.58 percent by the end of last year, Chen said this achievement could be easily ruined by transportation links with the mainland, which he claimed would bring in mainland workers and encourage local people to visit the mainland and spend their money there.
He also urged his supporters to cast their ballots in the March 20 presidential election and the referendum, which he described as a valuable chance for the Taiwan people to say "no" to Beijing.
(By Maubo Chang)
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