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President Chen Meets with a Delegation of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy

Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) Republic of China President Chen Shui-bian Wednesday called on the incoming U.S. government not to mention the outgoing Clinton administration's so-called "three noes" policy toward Taiwan any more.

Chen made the appeal while meeting with a group of U.S. China hands organized by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy.

U.S. President Bill Clinton spelled out the "three noes" policy during a visit to mainland China in 1998, pledging that the United States would not support independence for Taiwan, membership for Taiwan in any organization in which statehood is a requirement and "two Chinas" or "one Taiwan, one China".

"I hope the new U.S. government can avoid mentioning the so-called 'three noes' policy," said President Chen, who was particularly critical of attempts to block Taiwan's entry to major international organizations.

If the United States really needs to have "three noes," President Chen suggested that it add a fourth "no" stating that it opposes mainland China using military force to resolve the Taiwan Strait issue.

Chen further told his guests--many of them former U.S. officials--that his administration is willing to discuss with Beijing any proposals for resolving bilateral sovereignty disputes, regardless forming a commonwealth, a confederation, a special "state-to-state" relationship or a European Union-style alliance.

Nevertheless, Chen stressed that any solution to the Taiwan Strait issue and any change to Taiwan's present status quo must have the assent of the 23 million people of Taiwan.

"With strong convictions for peace, democracy and prosperity, my administration will forge a new relationship with mainland China with patience and sincerity," Chen assured the visiting U.S. scholars.

He also urged the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, a Washington-based think tank, to offer three other suggestions to the incoming U.S. government concerning its future policy toward Taiwan.

First of all, Chen said the United States should not sacrifice Taiwan's interest while dealing with Beijing. "We also expect equal and parallel engagements with the United States and look forward to seeing the United States play the role of 'balancer and stabilizer' in cross-strait relations and help promote peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region."

Second, Chen said he hopes that the unreasonable restrictions and treatment endured by senior ROC officials visiting or making stopovers in the United States can be eased and improved, and that U.S. officials responsible for foreign and security affairs don't have to wait until they retire to visit Taipei.

Third, Chen went on, the ROC hopes that the new U.S. government will reaffirm its commitment to abiding by the Taiwan Relations Act, the 1982 "six guarantees" to Taiwan, and the 1994 Taiwan policy review. "We also hope that the new U.S. administration will add a 'fourth pillar' to its China policy--the solution to Taiwan Strait issues must win the consent of the people of Taiwan." Chen said he hopes that the incoming U.S. government will add "no use of force against Taiwan" as the premise to its "one China" policy.

Chen further said he attaches great importance to the "three understandings and four recommendations" recently presented by a presidential advisory group on cross-Taiwan Strait relations, headed by Nobel laureate Lee Yuan-tseh. "I feel regret that Beijing has flatly rejected all those proposals," he said, adding that as Taiwan is a pluralistic democratic society, it needs time to forge a national consensus on Taiwan's future relations with mainland China. He also told the American visitors that mainland China basically does not recognize the so-called "1992 consensus on one China, separate interpretations."

"Against this background, I think it is very important that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait sit down to work out a mutually acceptable definition of 'one China,'" Chen urged.

The visiting U.S. scholars included former U.S. assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Winston Lord and President Bill Clinton's former top Asia adviser Kenneth Lieberthal.

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