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U.S. NEUTRAL IN DEALING WITH TAIWAN'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: AIT HEAD

2004-02-27 14:07:35

    Washington, Feb. 26 (CNA) The top U.S. liaison official with Taiwan on Thursday said that the United States maintains a neutral stance in dealing with Taiwan's upcoming presidential election, stressing that it doesn't want to influence the outcome.

    Therese Shaheen, chairwomen of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) , made the comments while attending a seminar held by the Heritage Foundation, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., to review the United States' "one-China" policy.

    Shaheen also clarified that U.S. President George W. Bush does not oppose Taiwan's planned referendum, but instead opposes any unilateral moves by either side of the Taiwan Strait that might alter the current status quo.

    The chairwoman made the clarification in response to criticism voiced by scholars at the gathering regarding Bush's comments following a meeting with mainland Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last December in Washington, D.C., where he warned President Chen Shui-bian against making any unilateral moves toward independence or changing the status quo.

    Taiwan's referendum is set to be held on the day of the presidential election on March 20.

(By Jay Chen and P.C. Tang)

Enditem/Li



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