ROC FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS FOR UNCONDITIONAL CROSS-STRAIT TALKS
Central News Agency
San Francisco, June 22 (CNA) Cross-Taiwan Strait dialogue should be conducted using a government-to-government model without any conditions, ROC Minister of Foreign Affairs Tan Sun Chen said in an interview with a U.S. newspaper.
In the interview published Wednesday in the San Jose Mercury News, Chen rejected Beijing's demand that Taiwan accept eventual unification with China as a condition for cross-strait talks to resume.
Chen said the recent China visit by two of Taiwan's opposition leaders could have been an "icebreaker" in relations between the governments on the two sides of the Strait.
Chen ruled out the opening of direct cross-strait transportation links for now for security reasons, although he said the government continues to welcome investment by Taiwanese businessmen in China.
However, Chen warned that China could use the economic ties to apply political pressure on Taiwan if the island depends too much on the Chinese market.
Meanwhile, Chen expressed confidence in the relations between Taipei and Washington despite the delay of the US$18 billion arms procurement plan from the United States.
Chen said the Cabinet is asking the Legislative Yuan to hold a special session to seek a quick passage of the budget for the procurement in order to show Taiwan's resolve to defend itself.
(By Chiang Chun and Y.F. Low)
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