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PRESIDENT WANTS TO IMPROVE CROSS-STRAIT TIES: OFFICIAL

2004-05-24 18:01:27

    Taipei, May 24 (CNA) The goodwill and sincerity President Chen Shui-bian offered in his May 20 inaugural address towards mainland China is beyond doubt, a ranking official of the Presidential Office said Monday.

    Huang Chih-fang, vice secretary-general and spokesman of the Presidential Office, made the remarks in response to the mainland Chinese authorities' negative reaction towards the inaugural address Chen delivered for a second four-year term.

    In reply to the president's inaugural address, the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Zhang Mingqing said at a news conference that Chen's speech carried connotations that Taiwan is an independent country and showed no sincerity to improve cross-Taiwan Strait relations.

    Stressing that Zhang's statement fully runs counter to the truth, Huang said President Chen's sincerity in improving relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait has been recognized by the international community, including the United States.

    According to U.S. officials, Washington views President Chen's May 20 inaugural address as "responsible and constructive" and as offering an opportunity for peaceful cross-strait dialogue.

    In his inaugural address, Chen called for an early resumption of cross-strait talks for peaceful development on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, saying that future cross-strait relations could take any form so long as there is the consent of the 23 million people of Taiwan.

(By Luis Huang)

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