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U.S. help with Taiwan's arms procurement helps cross-strait ties

ROC Central News Agency

2009/08/07 18:44:16

By Elizabeth Hsu

Taipei, Aug. 7 (CNA) The United States' continuing assistance in helping Taiwan acquire necessary defensive weapons is important to the efficient promotion and stable development of cross-Taiwan Strait ties, the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) chairwoman said Friday.

The comment by Lai Shin-yuan, made at a meeting with visiting U.S. Congressman and co-chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus Phil Gingrey (R-GA) at the MAC Thursday, was released in a MAC statement issued Friday.

According to the statement, Lai described the gradual improvement in the relations between Taiwan and China, who were once stubborn rivals, as a rare historic moment.

Taiwan and China should continue to conduct talks, dialogue and negotiations to build mutual trust and to lay a stepping stone for future eternal peace in the strait, she said.

Lai also asserted that increasing interaction between peoples from across the strait will strengthen the Taiwan identity of the Taiwanese people.

Lai reiterated that the two sides should respect the fact that they co-exist in international society and therefore should pursue international cooperation by treating each other with equality and dignity.

Gingrey encouraged Taiwan to continue its bid to join influential international organizations, including the United Nations, and Lai responded that it was the right and expectation of Taiwan's people to participate in the international community without having their dignity harmed.

She hoped that China, which has suppressed Taiwan's international space, could understand how Taiwanese people feel on the matter.

Gingrey arrived in Taiwan Aug. 5 for a four-day visit. He is described by President Ma Ying-jeou as one of Taiwan's most faithful friends in the U.S. Congress. He endorsed a House of Representatives resolution that marked the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act.

The resolution reiterates principles in the Taiwan Relations Act, including caring for Taiwan's security and providing Taiwan defensive weapons.



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