PRESIDENT URGES BEIJING TO ENGAGE IN DIALOGUE WITH TAIWAN'S GOV'T
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, May 1 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian has again urged the Chinese leadership to engage in direct dialogue and consultations with his administration for the sake of improving relations across the Taiwan Strait.
Chen made the call late Monday while addressing a ceremony in the central city of Taichung to mark the third anniversary of a private association promoting cooperation among the agricultural, industrial and academic sectors.
Referring to a just-concluded economic and cultural forum in Beijing between Taiwan's main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist Party of China (CPC), Chen said that without the support of his democratically elected government, no agreements or conclusions reached at such meetings can take effect.
Chen also warned that Beijing's insistence on engaging Taiwan's opposition party while ignoring its legally elected government will have a negative effect on cross-strait relations and make it difficult for Beijing to win the Taiwan people's hearts and souls.
For mutual benefits, Chen said the Chinese leaders should engage in direct dialogue and consultations with Taiwan's popularly elected government as soon as possible to address many stalled market opening and bilateral cooperation projects.
Over the past three years, Chen continued, the KMT and the CPC repeatedly pledged at their annual forum to help Taiwanese farmers export their produce to the Chinese market. However, Chen said, these "sugar-coated promises" have turned out to be empty words or even a nightmare, with Chinese farmers stealing Taiwan's agricultural know-how and selling counterfeit Taiwan brand-named agricultural products.
Without his administration's strong warnings and precautionary measures, Chen said he believes that Taiwan farmers would have suffered even more serious losses.
Chen also lambasted KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan for collaborating with China in attempting to debase his administration.
Noting that China has consistently spared no efforts to suppress Taiwan diplomatically with the aim of undermining Taiwan's sovereign status and forcing Taiwan to accept its unification terms, Chen said he believes that the KMT and Lien himself are fully aware of China's "tricks and ill intentions." "However, they are still willing to sing a duet with the Chinese communists to belittle our government and insult our national dignity. While adopting a China-leaning policy line, the KMT and Lien are pursuing their partisan and personal political interests at the expense of Taiwan's national interests," Chen lamented.
(By Sofia Wu)
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