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Central News Agency

2005-06-09 22:26:09

    Taipei, June 9 (CNA) The government is grateful for U.S. President George W. Bush's reaffirming his commitment to helping defend Taiwan if the country is invaded, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Michel Lu said Thursday.

    Lu's remarks came after Bush said in an interview with Fox News TV Channel Wednesday that the United States adheres to the Taiwan Relations Act, which means it is against either side of the Taiwan Strait unilaterally changing the status quo.

    Asked whether the United States would uphold its promise to defend Taiwan if the island were to suffer an invasion, Bush said: "Yes, we [would]. It's called the Taiwan Relations Act."

    Responding to Bush's statement, Lu said Taiwan has no intention of altering the Taiwan Strait status quo. On the contrary, he said, Taiwan has been a staunch supporter and defender of the peaceful status quo in the region.

    Lu said President Chen Shui-bian has on numerous occasions announced that Taiwan will continue to uphold the universal values of peace, freedom and democracy and is willing to dialogue with China under the principles of "peace, democracy and parity."

    Meanwhile, Cabinet spokesman Cho Jung-tai said the government is hopeful that Bush's reaffirmation of the U.S. commitment to help defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion could help deter any attempt to use "non-peaceful means" to alter the Taiwan Strait status quo.

    Asked whether Bush's remarks reflect closer Taiwan-U.S. ties, Cho said that since China enacted its anti-secession law in March, codifying the use of "non-peaceful means" against the nation, Taiwan-U.S. ties have "become an important integral part of international relations."

(By Sofia Wu)


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