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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


ROC Central News Agency

2005-08-23 12:04:46

    Kinmen, Aug. 23 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian said Tuesday he looks forward to rational and pragmatic discussion with new opposition Kuomintang Chairman Ma Ying-jeou on the long-stalled arms procurement package and China's ever mounting military threat.

    Chen made the appeal while presiding over a ceremony marking the 47th anniversary of the "Aug. 23 Battle" on the outlying island of Kinmen which lies closer to China's southeastern province of Fujian than to Taiwan proper.

    Noting that his administration's plan to procure three advanced weaponry systems -- eight diesel-electric submarines, six Patriot PAC III anti-missile batteries and a squadron of 12 anti-submarine aircraft -- from the United States has long been stuck in the Legislative Yuan due to opposition parties' "irrational boycott, " Chen said he earnestly hopes that Ma can demonstrate a different leadership style from his predecessor's. "Hopefully, Ma will be willing to engage in candid exchanges of opinions and rational cooperation with the government based on the principles of safeguarding national interests and the well-being of the people," Chen said.

    Over the past five years, the KMT and its "pan-blue alliance" ally -- the People First Party -- have used their slim majority in the legislature to boycott the Chen administration's policy initiatives at almost every turn.

    Now that the KMT has changed its leadership, Chen said, he is hopeful that the Ma-led KMT will demonstrate sincerity and efficiency in dealing with national security and livelihood-related bills and budgetary appropriations.

(By Sofia Wu)


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