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MAC TEMPORARILY RESERVES COMMENT ON BEIJING'S ANNOUNCEMENT

2004-05-17 12:37:13

    Taipei, May 17 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) temporarily declined to comment Monday on Beijing's announcement at 1 a.m. via a Web site on its stance on the development of cross-Taiwan Strait relations.

    The statement, jointly issued by the Chinese Communist Party's Taiwan Affairs Office and the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, held out the prospect of re-starting cross-strait talks and deepening bilateral ties, but warned that any steps by Taiwan toward independence would be crushed "firmly at any cost."

    The statement comes at a sensitive juncture on the eve of President Chen Shui-bian's inauguration for his second four-year term. MAC Vice Chairman Chen Ming-tong said the council would not make any comment on Beijing's unusual move for the time being.

(By Deborah Kuo)

ENDITEM/Li



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