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2004-05-07 16:33:28

    Taipei, May 7 (CNA) Both sides of the Taiwan Strait, as well as the entire Asia-Pacific region, share common interests in peaceful cross-strait relations, a top official in charge of mainland China policy said Friday.

    Chen Ming-tong, vice chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) , made the remarks one day after President Chen Shui-bian broached the idea of forming a council for cross-strait peace.

    The president, in the first meeting with a task force for establishing a stable and peaceful cross-strait exchange mechanism, said that he will deliver on his campaign promise to develop stable and peaceful cross-strait relations, and that the task force will be transformed into a cross-strait council for peace. He added that he might chair the council personally if everything goes well.

    The MAC vice chairman noted that peaceful relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will also be in line with the interests of the United States. "Despite political differences between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, as long as one is willing to think about the common interests and start with the basis of peaceful development, then many issues can be resolved," Chen said.

    On whether the council for peace will replace the National Unification Council, Chen said that the president will stick to his "four noes plus one" pledge in his inauguration speech of 2000. "He won't say something in 2000 and change it to something else in 2004. I see no problem of it being replaced," Chen said.

    The president promised in 2000 that there will be no change of the nation's official title, no declaration of independence if Beijing does not resort to force, no inclusion of the "state-to-state" theory in the Constitution, no referendum to change the status quo in regards to the question of independence or unification and no abolition of the National Unification Council (NUC).

    The NUC, set up by former President Lee Teng-hui in 1990, promulgated the Guidelines for National Unification the following year.

(By Lilian Wu)


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