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Monday, October 11, 2004

Strait Times > US welcomes Taiwan's peace talks offer

WASHINGTON - The United States yesterday welcomed what it called a constructive message in a speech by Taiwan's President, who offered peace talks with China.
In his National Day address, Mr Chen Shui-bian said he was open to any form of political relations with China and called for talks based on a 1992 understanding over the interpretation of the 'one China' principle.
Both sides had agreed then to allow each other their own interpretation of the principle. The consensus paved the way for historic negotiations in Singapore.
US State Department spokesman Darla Jordan said: 'We welcome the constructive message conveyed in President Chen's speech, which we believe offers some creative ideas for reducing tension and resuming the cross-strait dialogue.
'We urge both Taiwan and the People's Republic of China to take this opportunity to engage in dialogue in order to resolve their differences peacefully.'
She also said that there was no change in US policy towards Taiwan and China.
'We do not support Taiwan's independence and we oppose attempts by either side to unilaterally alter the status quo,' she said.
'We have long maintained that differences between the People's Republic of China and Taiwan are matters to be resolved peacefully by the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, absent from the threat or use of force, and should be acceptable to the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.' -- Reuters

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