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President Chen Presides over a High-level National Security Meeting

  • Date:2004-11-10

November 10, 2004 President Chen's Statement The five main topics presented and discussed at today's high-level meeting are: Taiwan-US and China relations after the US presidential election and how to respond to possible new development; resumption of cross-strait dialogue; prevention of cross-strait military conflict; maintenance of peace in the Taiwan Strait; formulation of "Code of Conduct across the Taiwan Strait." These intensive and extensive discussions have allowed us to acquire common understanding of issues that are of great importance, as laid out in my National Day Address and regarding recent developments across the Taiwan Strait and in the international arena. I hereby offer a summary: (1) The maintenance of stability and peaceful status quo across the Taiwan Strait has been an issue of concern to the international community, in which the United States plays an important role. Taiwan and the U.S. have long shared the universal values of democracy, freedom and human rights. In the last half a century, the democratic and economic developments in Taiwan have become a shared asset--rather than liability--of the international society. We appreciate the U.S.' steadfast and consistent support for Taiwan pursuant to the Taiwan Relations Act and in accordance with the Six Assurances. In the future, Taiwan and the United States --as an alliance of shared-values and based on existing foundations --should continue to collaborate together to safeguard peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. We must have clear assessment of the current situation, and consolidate and fully utilize our resources, so as to seek the greatest welfare of our country. Therefore, we must explore the possibility and feasibility of establishing a Society of International Friends of Taiwan, in order to seek understanding and support from the international community. (2) We believe that the next two years will be a crucial and opportune time for the resumption of cross-strait dialogue and for the pursuit of long-term stability and peaceful development. Governments and leaders on both sides of the Strait should seize this opportunity and employ wisdom--to open a favorable "window of opportunity" for long-term development, and to seek security and prosperity of both our peoples. In spite of the absence of immediate response from the other side to our goodwill and sincere gestures--due to various factors--our determination and patience will not change. We would also like to re-emphasize that our policy for cross-strait development, laid out in my Inaugural Speech and my National Day Address, will not change during my presidency. Based on the two above-mentioned "will not change" assurances, our governmental agencies will actively formulate a "sunshine policy" for the resumption of dialogue, decreasing tension, and enhancing cooperation and development across the Strait. (3) We are fully cognizant of Beijing's stance on its insistence of "One China" principle. However, we urge the other side to face the reality of the existence of the Republic of China, as well as the conviction of the 23 million people of Taiwan in democracy and in being the masters of our own land. If both sides can be understanding and magnanimous toward each other, differences and hostility can be resolved through peaceful dialogue and rational consultations. The meeting in Hong Kong in 1992 was conducted in such spirit. (4) Building upon the basis of the 1992 meeting in Hong Kong, our government will actively promote Three-Links and cross-strait trade and cultural exchanges. To open an opportunity for cross-strait direct transportation, we propose that at the current stage, both sides can use the Taiwan-Hong Kong commercial air route negotiations as a model, to immediately start consultation regarding issues such as cargo charted flights and lunar new year passenger chartered flights that are two-way, reciprocal and do not have to stop in a third location. (5) To actualize the economic strategy of "deeply cultivating Taiwan while reaching out to the world," the Government will draw on the global operational experience of the private sector, both local and foreign, and formulate policy plans for state-owned enterprises to set up overseas operations or engage in global investment. In addition, the Government will also take proactive measures to attract foreign capital and talents so that foreign corporations would invest or set up branch offices in Taiwan--such measures will expedite the internationalization of local industries and help Taiwan respond effectively to globalization. (6) In order to reduce military tension across the Taiwan Strait and to promote military reform, efforts have been made to accelerate the process of transforming our forces into a small but high-quality professional armed forces and strengthen our self-defense capabilities. In addition, the Ministry of National Defense has completed the plans to reduce compulsory military service term to 18 months, starting 1 July next year. If the plans to recruit voluntary forces turned out well, we could further reduce the compulsory service term to 12 months and achieve a force reduction of 100,000 troops by the end of 2008. (7) For humanitarian reasons and in compliance with international norms, we believe that no weapons of mass destruction--such as nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons--should be used in the Taiwan Strait. Our government hereby offers its assurance that we will never develop such weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, we urge the People's Republic of China to openly renounce the development and use of weapons of mass destruction. (8) To prevent accidents that result from misjudgment, we propose that both sides work together to establish military buffer zones. Military aircrafts and ships of both sides should not enter these zones unless absolutely necessary and with advance notifications to the other side. (9) There are precedents of communication mechanisms between opposing sides of military standoffs--such as North and South Koreas, India and Pakistan. We propose that both sides draw experience from the 1972 Incidents at Sea Agreements between the United States and the USSR, and the 1998 Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, and establish "Taiwan Strait consultation mechanism" for military security. Through this mechanism, the "Code of Conduct across the Taiwan Strait" can be developed successively. (10) Stability of the Taiwan Strait should be placed above the interests of each political party and individual. Cross-strait peace and development are the earnest hopes of the people of Taiwan. Only when Taiwan is domestically united and politically stable can we engender most favorable conditions for advancing cross-Strait relations. After the legislative election at the end of this year, my administration will make every effort, with utmost sincerity, to invite opposition parties and representatives from various sectors of the society to participate in the establishment of a "Committee for Cross-Strait Peace and Development". And we will not exclude the possibility of having a leader from the opposition parties to assume its chairmanship. By so doing, we hope to galvanize consensus among all political parties and all our people to jointly put together an enduring set of "Guidelines for Cross-Strait Peace and Development," and actively foster a new cross-strait relationship of peace, stability, prosperity and sustainable development. 【Source: Office of the President】