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2004-01-27 21:08:30

    Taipei, Jan. 27 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian reiterated recently Taiwan's position in pursuing a peaceful resolution to cross-Taiwan Strait differences, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Presidential Office.

    In a message responding to Pope John Paul's address marking the 2004 World Day of Peace, Chen said that his government is ready to settle the differences between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait through peaceful means.

    Although under the military threat from mainland China, Taiwan has persistently sought over the past four years to create a conciliatory, cooperative and peaceful cross-strait relationship, according to Chen.

    Unfortunately, the authorities in Beijing have never renounced their threat of using force against Taiwan, Chen said, adding that the desire of the 23 million people of Taiwan for peace and freedom from fear has never been respected as it deserves.

    Taiwan hopes to resume talks with Beijing based on the principle of equality and that the Beijing authorities can accept the Taiwan people's democratic choices, settle cross-strait differences through peaceful means and work with Taiwan to seek eternal peace between the two sides of the strait.

    Chen's message was delivered to the pope by Republic of China Ambassador to the Holy See Tou Chu-seng.

(By Huang Kwang-chun)


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