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2004-05-07 19:38:29

    Taipei, May 7 (CNA) The United States, mainland China and Taiwan share common interests in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, the nation's top mainland China policy planner said Friday.

    Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council, made the remarks when she was invited to deliver a speech on "the triangular relations between Washington, Beijing and Taipei as well as Taiwan's security" in Chiayi County, southern Taiwan.

    Tsai said that in the face of the changing situation amid globalization and the rise of mainland China, cross-strait policy has become the most crucial agenda facing President Chen Shui-bian during his second-term.

    It will require concerted efforts to conduct political reforms so as to create a mutually beneficial situation for Washington, Beijing and Taipei with solidarity, full communication and understanding, she said.

    She also noted that cross-strait relations since 2000 have undergone tremendous changes both in quantity and quality, due to changes in the world and on the mainland.

    The rapidly changing environment leaves no room for going back on Taiwan's cross-strait policy, she said, even though many people are still caught in an "old mindset."

    But the March 20 presidential election that saw President Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) win re-lection shows that the Taiwan people have chosen to support the propositions and ideals of the DPP, she added.

    She said that "it is in our hands which direction we want to take in cross-strait relations and we have to think hard if we want to unite and have the courage to face difficulties."

    Tsai said that Washington, Beijing, and Taipei have common interests in peaceful cross-strait relations, adding that the "fluid" peace and stability pursued by Taiwan will be able to accommodate changes at home, overseas and on the mainland.

    The Taiwan people have the aspiration for the self-determination and national identity, she went on, adding that constitutional reforms should be put through despite misgivings as this is crucial to Taiwan's long-term development.

    The mainland hopes Taiwan remains static, Tsai claimed, but the island is evolving and Beijing has to learn to face the situation or face intractable problems.

    She also said that Taiwan has to make good preparations for the fluidity created by globalization and the mainland's rise.

    Taiwan should make sure it has enough political, economic and military strength or it could risk being marginalized, she said, adding that the country should learn to galvanize its strength so that the nation can have a basis for stable development.

    More than 300 people listened to her speech, including Chiayi County Magistrate Chen Ming-wen, Vice County Magistrate Huang Kuei-nan and DPP Legislator Chang Hua-kuan, as well as the principals of elementary and high schools and representatives of small- and medium-sized enterprises.

(By Lilian Wu)


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