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NEW FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER OUTLINES DIPLOMATIC PROGRAM

2004-04-29 16:56:25

    Taipei, April 29 (CNA) New Minister of Foreign Affairs Tan Sun Chen said Thursday that he will promote diplomatic works based on the principles of pragmatism and flexibility, hoping to reflect Taiwan's rising national identity in an international context.

    Chen made the remarks when he reported for the first time to the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Legislative Yuan since he took over the post 13 days ago.

    Several legislators have questioned the pro-independence stance of the new foreign minister, saying that his appointment has sent a message to the international community, while some others hope that the ministry will not be excluded from the decision-making process, and that it can play a responsible role in passing the messages of the international community for domestic reference.

    Chen, in reporting his direction, said the short-term goal will be to push for entrance into the World Health Organization, and the invitation of foreign leaders and dignitaries to the May 20 inauguration ceremony of President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu.

    On long-term diplomatic works, Chen said that he will insist on maintaining national integrity and the right to join international organizations, insist on cross-strait stability and strengthen cooperation with the United States and Japan, and insist on international cooperation and fulfilling international responsibilities, he said.

(By Lilian Wu)

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