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2004-04-20 17:05:13

    Taipei, April 20 (CNA) Vice President Annette Lu said Tuesday that one of the key priorities of the government will be to strengthen bilateral relations with the United States.

    Lu made the remarks when she met with Washington State Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen and other leaders of the state legislature.

    Asked about priority tasks of the government after the March 20 presidential election, which saw President Chen Shu-bian and Lu win another four-year term, the vice president spoke of the strengthening of relations with the United States.

    She also spoke of the quick return to peace and normality on Taiwan's political scene.

    Post-election rows have persisted because Lien Chan of the opposition "pan-blue alliance" has yet to concede defeat in what he claimed was a "unfair election" marred by voting irregularities and an election-eve shooting of the president and the vice president that he said swayed the bitterly contested election in Chen's favor. Chen won by a razor-thin margin of 29,518 votes out of more than 13 million cast.

    Taipei also hopes to work with Beijing toward promoting cross-strait peace and stability, the vice president said.

    She also took the chance to thank the treatment given to her and her entourage last year when she passed through Washington State, and said that she was especially touched to see Seattle Port Authorities raise the national flag of the Republic of China.

    Lu said she hoped that Owen's visit will help increase the understanding and support of Taiwan, and further substantial exchanges between Taiwan and the United States.

    Owen noted that his state has close ties with Taiwan and is the 11th-largest trading partner for Taiwan, while Taiwan is the fifth-largest trading partner of Washington State.

(By Lilian Wu)


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