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President Chen's Interview with Associated Press Television News

Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) Republic of China President Chen Shui-bian said Friday that his determination to promote cross-Taiwan Strait relations will not be affected by any factors.

In an interview with Associated Press Television News, Chen said that as president, he has "the duty and obligation to bring peace to the Taiwan Strait as well as promote and complete the normalization of cross-strait relations."

Chen said that the ROC government fully supported the incorporation of anti-terrorism into the agenda of the informal leadership conference of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Shanghai, but he expressed deep regret that owing to Beijing's political interference, Taiwan was unable to participate in the Oct. 20-21 summit.

Chen criticized mainland China for failing to follow APEC protocol by refusing to send an official to deliver a formal invitation to Taiwan's delegate to the APEC leadership conference.

Initially, Chen said, he had intended to attend the informal summit himself, but about 10 days before the opening of the summit, he appointed former Vice President Li Yuan-zu to represent him. Beijing refused to accept Li's appointment and Taiwan was forced to abstain from the informal summit for the first time.

Asked what he would like to discuss with mainland Chinese President Jiang Zemin if were allowed to visit Beijing, Chen said he would hope to "exchange with him on the experiences and views over the universal values of democracy, freedom and human rights."

He noted that "we hope to negotiate and engage in dialogue with them to promote cross-strait relations on the principles of democracy, equality and peace."

The president also said that the problems that have stalled the development of bilateral relations are "not on the Taiwan side." Nevertheless, Chen reiterated his determination to improve cross-strait relations with "sincerity and goodwill."

For instance, he said, that despite the APEC incident, the ROC government's policy to implement the 322 resolutions reached by the recent Economic Development Advisory Conference, including relaxing control on Taiwan's trade and investment ties with the mainland, will continue.

Chen also said that both Taiwan and mainland China are expected to be admitted into the World Trade Organization at the WTO ministerial meeting to be held in Qatar next month.

He expressed hope that both sides will in future engage in constructive interaction on the international economic and trade stages under the framework of the global trade regulatory body.

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