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U.S. SUPPORT FOR NEW TAIWAN CONSTITUTION HAS LIMITATIONS: AIT OFFICIAL

2004-04-26 23:02:56

    Taipei, April 26 (CNA) There are limitations to the United States' support for Taiwan's plan to change the Constitution, an official of the American Institution in Taiwan (AIT) said Tuesday.

    David J. Keegan, deputy director of the Taipei Office of the AIT -- the de facto American embassy in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic relations -- made the remarks at a tea party held at the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs to mark the 25th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).

    Keegan said that the United States, a strong ally of Taiwan, is not certain about the means to change the Constitution and that if Taiwan misunderstands the limited support level from Washington, or the scope of the change goes beyond Washington's expectations, then the United States will not support it, he said.

    Keegan was referring to President Chen Shui-bian's pledge that he will push for the writing of a new constitution in 2006 through referendum and implement it in 2008.

    Chen has stressed repeatedly that the move has nothing to do with seeking independence as Beijing claims, but is aimed at deepening democracy and making the government more efficient.

(By Lilian Wu)

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