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ROC Central News Agency

2005-03-02 16:16:41

    Washington, March 1 (CNA) The U.S. State Department declined to comment Tuesday on President Chen Shui-bian's latest remarks that he will not change the official name of his country from the Republic of China to "Republic of Taiwan."

    State Department Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli told a daily press briefing he was unaware of Chen's comments.

    However, he pointed out that Chen has made similar assurances before and that Washington takes them very seriously. "He has certainly made assurances regarding unilateral steps in the past. We have welcomed those assurances and we continue to put great store by them," Ereli said.

    He reiterated that Washington opposes unilateral action on either side of the Taiwan Strait and believes cross-strait tension should be resolved through dialogue.

    In a teleconference with a group of European parliamentarians on that same day (Taipei time) , Chen said it is unnecessary for Taiwan to declare independence because it is already a sovereign state.

    Furthermore, he said, it will be impossible during his term to change the official name of the country as the ruling Democratic Progressive Party controls less than 50 percent of seats in the 225-member Legislative Yuan.

    Chen also reaffirmed that his planned constitutional reforms will not involve changes to national sovereignty and territory or issues regarding unification and independence, on which a majority consensus is still lacking.

    Any amendments to the Constitution require the approval of three fourths of the legislature.

(By Oliver Lin and Y.F. Low)


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