CHEN REITERATES OFFER OF PEACEFUL RESOLUTION TO CROSS-STRAIT DISPUTES
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, March 16 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian reiterated Wednesday that Taiwan is willing to resolve disputes between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait through dialogue.
Receiving a visiting Iceland parliamentary delegation at the Presidential Office, Chen told his guests that the international community should not agree with Beijing's intention of using "non-peaceful means" against Taiwan as stipulated in its recently passed Anti-Recession Law.
Democracy, freedom and protection of human rights are three of Taiwan's characteristics that the people on China have not yet enjoyed, Chen noted, adding that he hopes the democratic achievements made by Taiwan can serve as a beacon for China.
Criticizing the recent passage of China's Anti-Secession Law by its rubber-stamp parliament -- the National People's Congress -- that authorizes Beijing authorities to resort to "non--peaceful means" against Taiwan, Chen emphasized that no foreign countries' parliaments can decide the future of Taiwan and only the 23 million people of Taiwan can do this.
He also criticized the exclusion of Taiwan from the United Nations and the World Health Organization, claiming that this violates the U.N. principle of universality, the spirit of health without boundaries and the Taiwan people's rights to enjoy the best health care available.
Noting that the international community should not discriminate against the people of Taiwan, Chen pledged that his government will continue to seek international support for and recognition of the Taiwan people's rights and interests.
Chen expressed his appreciation and support for a proposal by Solveig Petursdottir, chairperson of the Iceland Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee and head of the delegation, to establish a liaison office in Taiwan.
Chen told his guests that he hopes the proposal can be made a reality as soon as possible.
The five-member Iceland parliamentary delegation and their spouses arrived in Taipei Monday for a six-day visit.
(By Huang Kwang-chun)
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