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Monday, October 11, 2004 Taiwan's Chen Seeks to Restart Cross-Strait Talks Taiwan's Chen Seeks to Restart Cross-Strait Talks: "
Taiwan's Chen Seeks to Restart Cross-Strait Talks

By Edward Cody
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, October 11, 2004; Page A14
TAIPEI, Taiwan, Oct. 10 -- President Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan, in a conciliatory gesture aimed at China's newly consolidated leadership, proposed a fresh start Sunday for long-suspended talks to improve relations and lower tension across the Taiwan Strait.
Chen suggested that China's president, Hu Jintao, might be more flexible in addressing Taiwan's concerns now that former president Jiang Zemin has retired and left Hu in charge of the Chinese military in addition to the presidency and the Communist Party. In that light, Chen declared, Taiwan is willing to resume discussions on the basis of a previous agreement that there is only one China, but that Beijing and Taipei have differing interpretations of what that means.
'We are aware of the transfer of power and personnel reshuffling on the other side of the strait,' Chen said in a National Day address. 'We hope that, with greater wisdom, both sides can create better opportunities for new development of cross-strait relations.'
Chen said his government was willing to return to the artful ambiguity of the 1992 Hong Kong accord as a starting point for improving ties. Renewed contacts, he said, would 'seek possible schemes that are not necessarily perfect but acceptable as preparation of a step forward in the resumption of dialogue and consultation.'
In the context of Taiwanese politics and Chen's long-standing goal of formal Taiwanese independence, the president's proposal was seen here as a concession designed to improve the atmosphere, lower tensions and refute charges that he is not"

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