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MAC OFFICIAL OPTIMISTIC ABOUT POST-ELECTION CROSS-STRAIT TIES

2004-03-31 18:37:36

    Taipei, March 31 (CNA) A senior Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official said Wednesday that he is optimistic about cross-Taiwan Strait relations in the wake of Taiwan's fiercely fought presidential election.

    Addressing a seminar on post-election cross-strait relations, Jan Jyh-horng, director of the MAC's Research and Planning Department, predicted that cross-strait relations will move forward in the wake of the presidential election. "Both Taiwan and mainland China need a stable environment for economic development and the international community wants the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to make peace with each other. Against this backdrop, the two sides must put aside some of their disputes in order to allow relations to gradually move forward," Jan said.

    As Taiwan's top mainland policy planner, Jan said, the MAC will do whatever it can to push cross-strait relations in a positive, constructive direction.

    Prior to the March 20 presidential poll, President Chen Shui-bian promised that if he were to be re-elected, he would push for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to exchange envoys before his May 20 inauguration for a second four-year term.

    Now that Chen has narrowly won re-election, Jan was asked whether this promise can be realized. "The two sides really need a viable dialogue mechanism to enhance understanding and trust. We have expressed our desire to exchange envoys and representative offices to facilitate communication. It's up to mainland China to decide whether the proposal can become a reality," Jan said.

    Emphasizing the importance of policy continuity, Jan said the "four noes plus one" pledge Chen promised in his 2000 inaugural speech will continue to be followed.

    The "four noes plus one" statement refers to Chen's pledge that there will be no change to the national flag or title, no referendum on Taiwan independence and no enshrinement of the "two states" theory in the Constitution. "The core spirit of the pledge is to maintain Taiwan's status quo. And this will be the gist of our future policy guidelines no matter which party is in power," Jan added.

(By Sofia Wu)

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