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LIEN VOWS TO 'RE-ACTIVATE' CROSS-STRAIT DIALOGUE IF HE IS ELECTED

2004-02-25 20:28:16

    Tokyo, Feb. 25 (CNA) Taiwan's opposition presidential candidate has promised to "re-activate" dialogue across the Taiwan Strait if he wins the March 20 poll, the Sankei Shimbun -- a Japanese business daily -- reported Wednesday.

    Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan, a former vice president who teams up with People First Party Chairman James Soong to challenge President Chen Shui-bian's re-election bid, made the remarks in an interview with a Japanese press corps in Taipei Tuesday.

    Lien told Japanese journalists that if he wins the presidency, he hopes to visit mainland China before the May 20 inauguration to pave the way for resumption of cross-strait dialogue, which has been suspended since July 1999.

    In the interview with journalists from 13 Japanese media outlets, Lien said stable cross-strait relations are critical to Taiwan's future development.

    Lien said the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should cooperate in creating a common market for direct commercial exchanges. He promised to open direct shipping links across the Taiwan Strait in the first year of his presidency and open direct cross-strait air links in two years.

(By Amy Huang and Sofia Wu)

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